How To Watch John McCain’s Memorial Service On TV

By Dominic Patten, Patrick Hipes

John McCain Funeral
Matt York/Shutterstock

Editors Note: This story was originally published August 29.

John McCain was unsuccessful in both of his attempts to become President of the United States, but in death the Arizona senator is has been getting a send-off from the networks worthy of a Commander-in-chief.

CBS, NBC and ABC provided extensive coverage of events this week leading to Sunday’s private funeral of the American hero and self-described maverick, who passed away from brain cancer at the age of 81 on August 25. CNN, Fox New Channel and MSNBC have been going wall-to-wall with coverage of McCain’s memorials leading to his funeral September 2.

While Donald Trump has not been invited to any of the events, former Presidents and respective McCain White House bid rivals George W. Bush and Barack Obama are scheduled to deliver eulogies for the six-term senator at Washington National Cathedral on September 1. The son of a distinguished military family, the former Navy pilot and Vietnam War POW will be buried at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland on September 2.

Among the pallbearers for Sen. McCain’s D.C. memorial will be Warren Beatty; ex-VP Joe Biden, who spoke in Phoenix earlier this week about his longtime friend; FedEx founder Fred Smith; former Sen. Gary Hart; and ex-NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Deadline is live-streaming Saturday’s funeral service here.

As all of the Big 3 are rightly set to go big on the farewell to McCain, of all the network news anchors only NBC’s Lester Holt has been on-air covering the memorials. CBS’ Jeff Glor was off this week and, as he has in past big events such as this, ABC’s David Muir is handing the reins to Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos. As it does in such circumstances of national interest, Fox will pepper simulcasting of FNC’s broadcasts throughout its regularly scheduled programming.

Here is how to watch today’s memorial service:


The network was on the ground in the Grand Canyon State with coverage from CBS This Morning and a special report from Norah O’Donnell and there has been continuous coverage on online 24-hour news service CBSN.

September 1

CBS News will air five hours of coverage beginning at 7 AM, ET, on CBS This Morning: Saturday and continuing with a live, CBS News Special Report at 9:00 AM, ET, on the CBS Television Network and simulcast on CBSN for the procession past the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, followed by the service at Washington National Cathedral.

Anthony Mason, Michelle Miller and Dana Jacobson will anchor the coverage for CBS This Morning: Saturday  (7:00-9:00 AM, check local listings) from Studio 57 in New York.

Margaret Brennan will anchor the CBS News Special Report (9:00 AM-12:00 PM, ET) live from Washington and will be joined by John Dickerson and Bob Schieffer and the CBS News team of correspondents with on-the-ground reporting. Additionally, CBS News will feature coverage of Sen. McCain’s life and legacy on its regularly scheduled broadcasts, including CBS News Sunday Morning (9:00-10:30 AM, ET), Face The Nation (check local listings), CBS This Morning and the CBS Evening New With Jeff Glor.


Unlike ABC and CBS, the Comcast-owned net has cable news sister stations in MSNBC and CNBC, have been covering the McCain events all week.

September 1

At 9 AM ET Chuck Todd, moderator of Meet the Press and NBC News political director, leads the network’s coverage of the Saturday, September 1 memorial service from the grounds outside the National Cathedral. Andrea Mitchell will report for both NBC and MSNBC from D.C. on September 1.

Holt will anchor a special edition of NBC Nightly News on Saturday, September 1, reporting on the day’s events.


The Disney-owned net’s 24-hour news channel ABCNewsLive will be livestreaming the memorial services Saturday. There will be additional coverage on ABC News’ social media platforms too and there will be midday Facebook Watch replay on September 1 of the daily On Location of highlights from the service at the Washington National Cathedral

September 1
Starting at 9 AM ET on ABC itself, Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos will anchor coverage of McCain’s memorial service from the Washington National Cathedral with on location reporting from Chief White House Correspondent Jonathan Karl, Chief Foreign Correspondent Terry Moran, Senior White House Correspondent Cecilia Vega, Correspondent Ron Claiborne, Political Analyst Cokie Roberts, and Special Correspondent Matthew Dowd.

Chief Global Affairs Correspondent Martha Raddatz will report from the Vietnam Veterans Memorial where McCain’s family will pay respects and wife Cindy McCain will lay a wreath.

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