Michael Jackson's internet funeral: One last revolution

As Michael Jackson's family, friends, and fans say their final goodbyes today, the King of Pop is leaving the spotlight with the same extravagance that once characterized his presence on the public stage. Over a million and a half people registered for a chance at one of the 17,500 free tickets to the memorial service at Staples Center, and thousands will watch a live newscast of the event at the Nokia Theater, which is located near the site. In fact, 88 theaters across the country will broadcast the coverage on their screens.

These impressive statistics, however, pale beside the almost unimaginable number of viewers who will watch the event either on the internet or television. An estimated three billion -- or almost half of the world's population -- will be tuning in to say goodbye to Jackson. By comparison, the most-watched television program in history, the last episode of MASH, had a mere 106 million viewers.