ESPN, Bounce TV, TV One airing late boxer's procession, memorial service
You’ll be able to honor the life of the legendary Muhammad Ali from the comfort of your own living room on Friday. ESPN, Bounce TV, and TV One will air Ali’s Louisville, Kentucky memorial service live.
Bounce’s coverage begins early in the day at 9 a.m. ET with the farewell procession as it passes through the champ’s childhood neighborhood, before his memorial service and private burial at Cave Hill Cemetery. During that private moment between the procession and the memorial service, Bounce will air The Greatest, the 1977 film starring Ali as himself.
Coverage on ESPN and TV One picks up at the 2 p.m. when Ali’s memorial service begins at Louisville’s KFC Yum! Center. (ESPN’s coverage of the European soccer championships opening match between France and Romania will move to ESPN2.) Former President Bill Clinton, Bryant Gumbel, and Billy Crystal will give eulogies honoring the sports legend and humanitarian.
Roland S. Martin, the host of News One Now, will anchor TV One’s coverage from the show’s Washington D.C. studios, where guest panelists will join him to provide commentary. The broadcast will conclude the week of tributes from News One Now, which has honored Ali’s contributions to the African-American community.
“Muhammad Ali was an iconic figure who was an unapologetic Black man and a world figure. We are proud to continue our weeklong coverage since his death by carrying his funeral live on TV One,” Martin said in a statement. “In the past, TV One has broken into coverage to carry the funerals of Coretta Scott King, Dr. Dorothy Height and the memorial service for the Charleston 9. We believe the homecoming service of ‘The Greatest’ is deserving of such an honor.”
At 7 p.m. ET on Friday the network will also re-air, Muhammad Ali: Fighting Spirit, a one-hour documentary that includes archival footage of Ali practice fights, as well as interviews with Prince and Will Smith.
Bounce will continue its special Ali programming by airing tributes throughout Premier Boxing Champions — The Next Round on Sunday at 9 p.m.
Famous figures have been paying homage to Ali since his passing on June 3. Ali had Parkinson’s and planned his own memorial services, which began Wednesday in Louisville with the “I Am Ali” festival. An Islamic prayer program called a jenazah is scheduled for Thursday. The procession and private burial will take place on Friday. Will Smith and boxer Lennox Lewis are expected to serve as pallbearers, and President Obama’s senior advisor, Valerie Jarrett, will read a statement on the President’s behalf.
This post has been updated to include more viewing options.