AFN American Forces Network provides U.S. radio and television news, information, and entertainment programming to:
Active, guard, and reserve military service members, DoD civilians and contract employees, and their families overseas, on board Navy and Coast Guard ships, and to other authorized users.
Founded in 1942 and headquartered in Fort Meade, Maryland, AFN regularly broadcasts to half a million troops around the world.
AFN’s central broadcasting hub is the AFN Broadcast Center @ March Air Reserve Base (Riverside, CA).
As a showcase of American television, AFN channels are carefully counter programmed to ensure viewers are presented with a variety of choices at any time of the day or night.
Virtually all land-based locations in the world are capable of receiving all AFN television services by government cable TV systems, direct-to-home satellite receivers or MMDS microwave. Navy ships equipped with satellite dishes receive AFN|news, AFN|sports and a hybrid channel of programming from AFN|prime, AFN|pulse and AFN|spectrum most appropriate for shipboard audiences.
There are 8 AFN television services, all of which originate at the Defense Media Center in Riverside, California:
AFN|prime Pacific, AFN|prime Atlantic, AFN|news, AFN|sports, AFN|sports2, AFN|spectrum, AFN|family and AFN|movie
All news programming aired on AFN is provided gratis (without cost) to the DoD.
All commercials produced in the United States for the stateside audience are not licensed for distribution outside of the USA. That’s why there are no commercials during the Super Bowl on the AFN network.
Programs qualify for time slots on the AFN|news schedule based on three criteria: ratings, acclaimed excellence, and niche appeal.
The “Big Three” broadcast networks (ABC, NBC and CBS) are the most popular, and the dominant “Little Three” cable news outlets (FNC, MSNBC and CNN) fill in the rest of the schedule.