Washington: At least 16 major television networks are planning live coverage of Michael Jackson's memorial service, making it one of the biggest televised event of the year after the January 20 inauguration of President Barack Obama.
The pop legend, 50, died after a suspected cardiac arrest on June 25.
Jackson's public memorial will take place at the Staples Center at around 10 am (2230 IST) today in a star studded ceremony with some of 'King of Pop's closest collaborators, friends and fans appearing there to pay tribute to Jackson.
Prominent among them are Jennifer Hudson, Mariah Carey, Stevie Wonder, Usher, John Mayer, Lionel Richie and Motown founder Berry Gordy, Kobe Bryant, Martin Luther King III, Motown legend Smokey Robinson, Jackson family friend, Reverend Al Sharpton and Jackson's longtime friend, Brooke Shields, a statement from the family said.
The memorial service is likely to be viewed by millions of people across the globe and the US news channels have lined up some of their best anchors for the event.
CNN will start its coverage at 9 am local time with Anderson Cooper, Larry King and Don Lemon as anchors, while MSNBC will begin its coverage at 8 am, with Chris Jansing anchoring. Shepard Smith will anchor for Fox News.
As many as 88 movie theaters in 31 States too would be showing live the memorial service.