During the 2006 World Cup, American Forces Network failed to inform its viewers that the rights to air the World Cup had not been granted. After several World Cup matches were not aired, AFN viewers complained. If I remember correctly, the president of Fox covered the costs for rights to air these matches on AFN. The remaining World Cup matches, not just matches involving Team USA, were shown on AFN.

I recently e-mailed AFN at to inquire about the airing of the 2010 World Cup. I received a very-well-written explanation about legal and financial issues, and issues about country rights. But the first sentence in the response from AFN sums it up: "Unfortunately, right now we cannot give you a definitive answer as to whether or not AFN will be able to air any of the 2010 World Cup."

I realize some care very little about soccer and I respect others’ opinion and their choice to turn the channel. However, for those serving overseas or in deployed environments who love soccer, I think it would be very wise and customer friendly if AFN would advertise information for the public concerning AFN’s difficulty in securing rights to air the World Cup.

I ask that AFN share this information with its viewers so those who care about the World Cup can try to make other arrangements. AFN failed to share this information with its viewers in 2006. I hope it won’t make the same mistake again.

I would be remiss if I didn’t thank AFN for what they provide to servicemembers and their families. So I thank AFN for what it provides, but viewers should be told of the possible World Cup blackout!

Chaplain (Capt.) Marshall CoenAl Asad, Iraq

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