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AFN will livestream and broadcast NFL games starting Thursday for service members overseas

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The 2023 NFL Pro Bowl at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas on Feb. 5 , 2023, viewed from a Navy F/A-18E Super Hornet. American Forces Network is airing full coverage of the NFL regular season and postseason via its television and mobile streaming services in Europe and the Pacific. ( Keenan Daniels/U.S. Navy)


When the NFL kicks off its season Thursday with the defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs taking on the NFC North division favorite Detroit Lions, overseas U.S. personnel can tune in live on American Forces Network.

AFN will offer full coverage of the 2023-24 regular season and the postseason via its television and mobile streaming services in Europe and the Pacific.

With support from the league and network partners, AFN plans to show an average of 12 to 15 NFL games per week, some live and some tape delayed, said Zoe Stagg, AFN chief of television programming.

But AFN’s NFL lineup is far from set, Stagg said. The network’s sports programmers make their picks for the week every Tuesday, reviewing the previous week’s results and even ticket sales to see which games are in demand, she said.

“It’s really anybody’s game (early in the season), so your chances of seeing the greatest variety of teams are there,” Stagg said. “As we move through the season, then they’re really doing that complicated sports math where they’re pulling the very best matchups based on how the stats are working out for the season.”

Typically, about two to four games in each NFL week aren’t shown, depending on what other sporting events are happening, she said. This weekend, for instance, AFN will bypass a few games to make space for the U.S. Open tennis finals and college football.

American Forces Network's coverage of the NFL regular season, playoffs and Super Bowl begins Thursday with the defending champion Kansas City Chiefs hosting the Detroit Lions in a live television broadcast.

American Forces Network’s coverage of the NFL regular season, playoffs and Super Bowl begins Thursday with the defending champion Kansas City Chiefs hosting the Detroit Lions in a live television broadcast. (AFN)

Thursday’s season opener in Kansas City, Mo., starts at 8:20 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. AFN will broadcast the game live and through video on demand on the AFN Now mobile app.

Other Week 1 matchups on AFN include the San Francisco 49ers and Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday and the Buffalo Bills versus New York Jets on Monday.

“NFL games are among our most highly watched programs, and it is a privilege to work with the NFL to bring the excitement to our military audiences worldwide,” Hal Pittman, director of the Defense Media Activity, said in a statement Tuesday.

The 18-week, 272-game regular season concludes Jan. 7, 2024. AFN will provide live coverage of playoff games and the Super Bowl.

The network also has plans to air about 15 college football games per week this season.

Nearly all sports aired on AFN television are available on the AFN Now app, said Kimberly Antos, chief of digital platforms.

“We are simulcasting nearly 24 hours a day throughout the week,” she said.

Viewers who miss live games can catch them through video on demand about 12 hours after they air; they remain up for about a week, Antos said.

The app is free to download on Google and Apple devices, Amazon Fire, Roku and select smart TVs with app functionality.

It’s available to overseas U.S. service members, families, military retirees and Defense Department civilians, and it has about 30,000 subscribers, Antos said.

Users can register for the app at https://afn-now.myafn.mil/.  The AFN Now help desk is manned around the clock and can be reached at DMA.AFNnow.Help@mail.mil.

For a full listing of all NFL games airing on AFN, go to: https://myafn.dodmedia.osd.mil/.

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