BBC Two clears schedule for Jackson

LONDON — Networks around the world cleared their schedules to air live coverage of the Michael Jackson memorial on Tuesday.

Concert promoter AEG sent press releases and media alerts announcing the satellite coordinates for the feed, meaning TV organizations were able to pick up the service free of charge.

Late Tuesday, AEG was still figuring out how many outlets had, indeed, shown “Michael Jackson: The Farewell,” beamed from the Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles.

However, viewers in some 200 countries and territories were able to see the memorial on the international BBC World News, fronted by Rajesh Mirchandani.

In Europe, the time difference meant the memorial became a primetime draw.

In the U.K., pubcaster web BBC2 jettisoned its regular evening shows to make way for live coverage.

Rupert Murdoch’s satellite paybox BSkyB showed it in HD on Sky News and Sky Arts, with anchor Kay Burley hosting coverage from L.A., alongside U.S. correspondents Robert Nisbet and Greg Milam, from 5:30-8 p.m. U.K. time.

Commercial terrestrial web Five broadcast a special, “Michael: The World Says Goodbye,” live from L.A. between 6:30 and 8 p.m.

Across continental Europe the Jackson coverage was less extensive.

In Germany, the major broadcasters all devoted airtime to the memorial.

Pubcaster ARD kicked off at 6:50 p.m. local time with a special report on its magazine skein “Brisant extra,” followed by more coverage on the primetime news show “Tagesschau” at 8 and during an extended summary at 10:45.

Fellow pubcaster ZDF aired its own special report from 7:25-8:15 p.m.

In France, main commercial networks TF1 and M6 aired the memorial live.

In Italy, Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s TV group Mediaset put the coverage on the youth-oriented Italia Uno web.

In Australia, commercial broadcasters Seven, Nine and Ten and the pubcaster ABC all covered the memorial live.

(Ed Meza in Berlin, Michael Day in Milan, Elsa Keslassy in Paris and Michaela Boland in Sydney contributed to this report.)

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