Defense Media Activity (DMA) and American Forces Network (AFN) invite audiences to watch games from the NFL Conference Championships and Super Bowl XVII via their new video-on-demand and live streaming app, AFN Now.
Just over two months after the global launch of AFN Now, and following recent successful trials of the live streaming feature, expatriate responders and families now have free access to live professional sports. The network plans to broadcast both NFC and AFC championship games live this Sunday, February 29, followed by the Super Bowl on February 12.
DMA Director Hal Pittman said, “DMA works hard to bring the very best in entertainment, news and sports programming to our global audiences. AFN Now’s ability to live stream the most popular sporting events ensures our military sports fans can keep the action on their schedule. This is a great asset to our military and families serving abroad.”
The AFN Now audience has expressed their excitement about the new live streaming feature. The app’s video-on-demand feature also allows viewers to catch up on pre-recorded events they may have missed.
“We started with the Australian Open,” said Mike Drumheller, head of the AFN Broadcast Center in Riverside, California. “The audience response was raving, and our team went to work to win the NFL playoffs for AFN Now. It was a process that required the generous support of the National Football League.”
During its 80-year history, AFN has built strong relationships with the entertainment industry, sports broadcasters and professional sports leagues. According to Drumheller, those relationships paid off when AFN leadership approached the NFL and other leagues for live and/or video-on-demand streaming rights.
“We are grateful to our sports industry partners for adopting our newer distribution platforms to entertain AFN’s audiences during the difficulties encountered during service outside of the United States,” said Chief Master Sergeant Jason David, Command Senior Enlisted Leaders by DMA. “Negotiating these digital broadcast rights to high-quality sports programming demonstrates their support for U.S. service members around the world and all they do for our country.”
AFN has a large following of sports fans. In addition to the NFL, AFN has secured digital rights to Australian Open tennis and several X-Games. Agreements with other major league sports are ongoing and will soon result in even more streaming or video-on-demand sports on the AFN Now app.
Kimberly Antos, the network’s head of digital platforms and AFN Now, says the AFN team has developed new techniques for streaming live sports games via the AFN Now app. The first NFL games on AFN Now took hours to process digitally and make them available as video-on-demand.
“Our audience wants live sport,” said Antos. “It is important to us to deliver what our audience wants. Most AFN staff have also served overseas and understand the importance of exercise to the morale and quality of life of our service members. AFN’s motto, “We Bring You Home,” motivates us to provide the best possible programming and streaming experience.”
The AFN Now app is available to service members, families and retirees living abroad. The AFN Now app is free to download and provides viewers with convenient access to their favorite AFN entertainment, news and sports programming. The app is easy to download and users can register at https://afn-now.myafn.mil/.
The App is only available to DOD-affiliated viewers located outside of the United States, its territories and possessions. Anyone who registers for the service must pass Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS) verification before the app will work.
The app is available on Apple iPhones, iPads and Apple TVs, Android phones, Android TVs and tablets, next-gen gaming systems, and Amazon Fire digital media platforms, Roku, and smart TVs with app functionality in the home. In future stages of development, AFN plans to include Xbox and PlayStation gaming consoles.
AFN Now builds on and continues the rich legacy of AFN and is the largest technological leap since the network began satellite television in 1997. AFN Now advances DMA’s goals of bringing the highest quality American programming and information to audiences worldwide.
DMA is the parent organization for military-produced media brands, including AFN, the Defense Visual Information Distribution Service (DVIDS), Defense.gov, the military service websites and news services, and publications such as All Hands and Airman Magazine.