Networks Announce Plans to Cover Funeral of Muhammad Ali

By Mark Joyella 

The broadcast and cable news networks have announced their coverage plans for Friday’s funeral of Muhammad Ali.

NBC News will begin its coverage with Matt Lauer previewing the day live in Louisville for Today. Nightly News anchor Lester Holt will anchor special coverage from New York beginning shortly after 2 p.m. ET, with David Remnick, editor of The New Yorker and author of the book King of the World.

Brian Williams will lead MSNBC’s live coverage from New York, with New York Daily News sports columnist Mike Lupica, the Rev. Al Sharpton and others discussing Ali’s legacy.

NBC correspondents Ron Allen, Rehema Ellis, Craig Melvin, Ayman Mohyeldin, and Janet Shamlian will contribute reports to both NBC and MSNBC.

On Friday night, MSNBC will air the documentary When We Were Kings, which tells the story of Ali’s famous Rumble in the Jungle, at 10 p.m. ET.

ABC News will provide special reports from New York anchored by George Stephanopoulos, with Nightline anchor Byron Pitts and correspondent Ryan Smith in Louisville.

ABC News will provide digital coverage beginning at 9 a.m. ET.

Fox News will begin special coverage at 2 p.m. ET, with chief news anchor Shepard Smith in New York. The network will go wall-to-wall with the procession and eulogies.

Fox News correspondents Jonathan Hunt and Mike Tobin will report live from Louisville. Fox News chief Washington correspondent James Rosen will also be part of coverage at 2 p.m.

CNN will provide coverage throughout the day, and take the funeral service live. Pam Brown, Jason Carroll and Martin Savidge are in Louisville and will provide live coverage.

ESPN, too, is planning extensive coverage:

CBS News will begin coverage with CBS This Morning at 7 a.m. ET, with Scott Pelley reporting from Louisville. Pelley will anchor Friday’s CBS Evening News from Louisville.

Josh Elliott will anchor live coverage of Ali’s funeral procession for CBSN beginning at 9 a.m. ET, and will be joined by Reena Ninan for live coverage of the memorial service starting at 1 p.m. ET.

TV One will break into programming to cover the services in Louisville.