AFN to offer overseas audience live streaming, video-on-demand
MANAMA, Bahrain — The American Forces Network plans to offer its overseas audience cloud-based Internet video streaming and video-on-demand services starting next year.
The on-demand service will allow viewers to watch their favorite programs when they want, and a live streaming service will broadcast major sporting events and provide continuous live news coverage from U.S. networks.
AFN also plans to develop video-on-demand apps for all major mobile platforms.
Navy Capt. Ike Skelton, the director of American Forces Radio and Television Services, said the network is currently working through the “appropriate contracting process” to set up the new services.
“We anticipate, if all goes well, to be beta testing this service in mid-2016,” he said.
Defense Media Activity Director Ray Shepherd announced the initiative on AFN Bahrain morning radio last week during a visit to the region.
He told listeners he wants to give the authorized AFN audience the ability to watch programs on their own terms. “We all have very busy lives and other activities, but we also have favorite shows we want to watch,” Shepherd said on the air.
Regarding Internet-based services, Shepherd said: “It’s where the audience is going. It’s all about being relevant to the audience and making sure they get the information they are used to getting in the way they get it.”
In addition, DMA is working in partnership with the Exchange to test live streaming of existing AFN channels at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan using a secure Wifi system. Once testing there is complete, officials plan to expand that service to personnel at other forward-deployed locations this summer.