Intelsat General, a wholly owned subsidiary of Intelsat (NYSE: I) will distribute television and radio programing to U.S. servicemen and women stationed around the world, working with the support of three other satellite and ground service providers.
Intelsat General has been carrying the global satellite feed for the American Forces Network (AFN) for more than 15 years, bringing U.S. troops on land and at sea a wide variety of television and radio programming. The new one-year contract with four renewable option years will involve six satellites and five teleports at various locations around the globe, as well as the IntelsatOne terrestrial fiber network. The other partners involved in providing the service are SES Government Solutions, Korea Telecom and Allen Communications.
The AFN will provide Intelsat General with three data streams for distribution globally, using uplink teleports in California and Maryland in the United States as well as South Korea and Germany. Intelsat will distribute the AFN programming to ships at sea and fixed military bases in the Atlantic Ocean Region, the Indian Ocean Region, and the Continental U.S., Greenland, Central America and Cuba.
The American Forces Network, based at Fort Meade in Maryland, traces its origins to a single Army radio station established in Kodiak, Alaska, to entertain isolated soldiers at the beginning of World War II. It has since grown to provide a wide range of around-the-clock radio and television programming from a variety of commercial sources, giving U.S. troops worldwide the same access to news, sports and entertainment that they might enjoy at home.
Rick Henry, VP of Sales and Marketing for Intelsat General, stated that the company has been supporting the American Forces Network for a number of years and this new contract will allow Intelsat General to continue to distribute programming that is so important to the morale of the troops at home, at sea and abroad. This globalized network enables AFN programming to reach more than one million service men and women stationed in the most remote areas of the globe, allowing them to feel closer to home whether they are watching an NFL football game or an episode of a television series.