Military Personnel To Miss NFL’s NFC And AFC Games After Gov’t Shutdown Forces Network To Go Dark

REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst/File Photo

Kerry Picket Political Reporter

Some Military personnel overseas will miss the NFL’s NFC and AFC football championship games on Sunday because the Department of Defense run American Forces Network that carries the games for military members worldwide went off the air midnight Friday when the Senate could not pass a temporary funding measure to fund the government.

NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy told Sports Illustrated that members of the military who can access overseas USO Centers can still view the games, and the games air for free via NFL Game Pass.

AFN provides entertainment programming all over the world to military personnel, and according to Stars and Stripes, on Saturday morning members of the military saw a message posted to the network stating that its services were unavailable because of the government shutdown. During the last government shutdown in 2013, the network still continued a few news services including radio news broadcasts. Only classical music could be heard on AFN’s radio and TV network.

Commenters on AFN’s Facebook page ranged from those who were unaware of the government shutdown to those who pointed fingers at members of Congress.

“Were their layoffs? People sent home? What changed [sic] where the signal cannot be sent specifically to overseas boxes? Did some research, led to no idea why the signal isn’t still be sent. Please explain, so we know specifically who decided to not send the signal to our boxes/troops overseas. Many have NOTHING else,” one commenter said.

Another Facebook commenter said, “This did NOT happen the last time the government shut down. AFN was on the air. WHY THIS TIME? And while I’m at it, a big thanks to Chuck. and the Shumer Shutdown [sic]. Such tactics might be used (if at all) as a LAST resort. The Dream Act expires in March. This is unnessary [sic] and thick headed.”

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