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ESPN to bring Muhammad Ali's memorial service to fans with hours of live coverage

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People around the world are mourning the loss of Muhammad Ali, who died June 3, after being hospitalized with respiratory issues. Naturally, fans near and far are interested in celebrating the sports icon and activist’s life.

A remembrance day, complete with a 19-mile procession and memorial service, is scheduled for Friday in his hometown of Louisville, Kentucky. ESPN plans to offer a minimum of nine-and-a-half hours of live presence and coverage, according to ESPN Front Row.

SportsCenter:AM will kick off at 7 a.m. ET and cover the day’s events all the way through the conclusion of the service. Anchors Hannah Storm and Jeremy Schaap will be in Louisville outside the venue, the KFC Yum! Center. Additionally, from 1-4 p.m., ESPN Radio’s Russillo & Kanell Show will provide coverage, including the the memorial service’s eulogies. The complete service will be available uninterrupted via ESPN Audio on ESPN Radio’s website and in the ESPN app.

Apart from the service, ESPN Radio’s Mike & Mike will feature conversations with people who knew the boxing legend, including Dick Ebersol, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and Jim Lampley. The show, which runs from 6-10 a.m., will also be simulcast on ESPN2.  Meanwhile, ESPN Caribbean will have Ali-centric programming of its own, beginning at 7 a.m., including memorial service coverage.

The network will have reporters on location throughout the city, including along the procession route, at the Yum! Center, at Ali’s childhood home, and at the funeral home and cemetery, among other sites. Guests, such as Ali’s high school teacher Mervin Aubespin, will also join Storm and Schaap on set. Original features and vignettes from the ESPN Features Unit will also be mixed in with live coverage.

ESPN is clearly going all out to provide comprehensive coverage of the events in Louisville. It sounds like a fitting tribute to “The Greatest.”

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Stephanie Topacio Long
Stephanie Topacio Long is a writer and editor whose writing interests range from business to books. She also contributes to…
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