Another Shutdown Casualty: Pro Football for Deployed Troops

Jack Dempsey/AP

Due to furloughs, Armed Forces Network will broadcast only news channels.

The government shutdown means deployed troops and sailors cannot get their sports fix, as the Pentagon reduced the civilian staff of its Armed Forces Network Broadcast Center in Riverside, Calif., which normally transmits nine television channels and seven radio channels via satellite worldwide.

In a notice on its website, the center said most of its channels are off the air, except for news channels.  AFN Europe said mandatory staff reductions at the broadcast center will reduce television to one service: AFN News.

The AFN sports channel, which broadcasts professional sports live, went dark yesterday along with the network’s movie, family and children’s channels.

Deployed troops and their families can pick up the network’s satellite signals with a dish and receiver similar to those used to receive commercial satellite services stateside, such as the DISH Network and DIRECTV.

In addition, the Navy said its AFN Direct-to-Sailor service, which beams three TV and radio channels to 225 ships, has been cut back to one TV and one radio news channel during the shutdown, with sports and entertainment channels dark.

The Defense Media Activity, which operates AFN, has 682 civilian employees, according to its 2013 budget

Get the Nextgov iPhone app to keep up with government technology news.