American troops downrange will soon have an AFN television station with program times catering to their time zones.
Under a plan announced by the American Forces Network Broadcast Center this week, a new channel called “AFN|prime Freedom” will begin broadcasting to troops in the Central Command area beginning on July 4.
Those troops with access to AFN in Iraq and Afghanistan had been seeing programs on feeds from Asia or Europe, meaning broadcast times were often at strange hours due to time zone changes.
“AFN|prime programming will now be seen in the desert at a far more convenient time.
“Because the 7 p.m. shows will now be on at 7 p.m. [in CENTCOM], AFN viewers in Iraq will now be able to see AFN|prime’s most popular shows when they’re available to watch,” Larry Sichter, AFN’s public affairs officer at the Defense Media Center, said in a news release.
Entertainment programming on the new channel will echo that of AFN|prime in Europe and Asia, with network comedies and dramas. News shows typically found on AFN|prime will be “geared more to the CENTCOM audience,” Sichter said.
That means using more of the news products created by AFN teams downrange, officials said.
“Our folks downrange are producing special news products that the Army’s AFN-Europe staff in Vicenza, Italy, can insert into the channel they’re being fed by the Broadcast Center,” Cal Miller, chief of broadcast operations at the Air Force News Agency, said in the release.
AFN|prime Freedom will only be delivered to audiences in Iraq and Afghanistan having an AFN decoder or watching an AFN cable system, officials said.