31M Watch Michael Jackson Memorial Service on TV

By Chris Ariens 

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The memorial service held for Michael Jackson drew nearly 31 million television viewers in the U.S. yesterday. The event was carried live from approximately 1pmET to 4pmET on 19 networks: including ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX, CNN, Fox News Channel, MSNBC, and Headline News. Nielsen reveals 23,518,868 households tuned in, while 30,919,882 viewers watched.

That figure is fewer than the number of U.S. viewers who watched the funeral of Princess Diana in 1997 (33,252,000) but more than watched the funeral of Pres. Ronald Reagan in 2004 (20,841,000). However, in the case of Pres. Reagan, 35,071,000 watched his burial service which was held during the evening hours of Friday, June 11, 2004 in Simi Valley, California.