Michael Jackson memorial service cost the cash-strapped city of Los Angeles $1.4 million, a figure that includes paying for more than 3,000 police officers (nearly one-third of the entire force), trash pickup, other sanitation and traffic control, MTV.com reports.
A spokesperson for Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa lauded the final cost, saying it was "far less" than the initial estimate of $4 million. City attorney Carmen Trutanich said his office is looking into ways to legally require third parties to pick up some of the tab. The City of Los Angeles has also set up a Web page asking citizens to contribute money to help defray the costs. So far, fans have donated $17,000 through the site, but the effort has been hampered by heavy Web traffic that crashed the servers Tuesday night and several times Wednesday, according to the mayor's office, Entertainment Weekly reports.
According to Nielsen, Michael Jackson's memorial service - held Tuesday at the Staples Center in L.A. - pulled in close to 31 million viewers over 19 networks: ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX, Telefutura, Telemundo, Univision, CNN, Fox News Channel, MSNBC, Headline News, BET, E!, MTV, VH1, VH1 Classic, TV Guide Network, and TV ONE. The figure is still approximately 2 million fewer viewers than those who tuned in for Princess Diana's funeral in 1997, Entertainment Weekly reports.
The number of online viewers doubles the estimated audience, as MSNBC reported 19 million streams on June 7th, CNN had 10.5 million and ABC News had 6 million streams; the tribute was also streamed on TMZ, Hulu, MySpace and CBS, Rolling Stone reports.