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Michael Jackson memorial watched by 30.9 million on American TV

July 8, 2009 | 12:59 pm

Tuesday's Michael Jackson memorial was viewed by an average of 30.9 million people in the U.S., according to figures from Nielsen Media Research.

A total of 19 networks carried the proceedings live from about 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., including the major English- and Spanish-language broadcasters and cable news outlets, as well as MTV, VH1 and others.

While Jackson's celebrity spurred worldwide interest in his death, the ratings for his memorial did not quite match those for the 1997 funeral of Princess Diana, which, despite airing during the early morning hours in the U.S., drew an average of 33.2 million viewers. President Reagan's burial in 2004, which happened during prime-time in much of the country, was watched by 35.1 million.

These Jackson figures, however, do not include viewers who watched live by streaming online, which likely accounted for at least several million more users.  

More details to come.

— Scott Collins