New TV Channel About the Armed Forces Launches in the UK

A new and unique television channel all about the armed forces launched last month. It’s called ‘Forces TV’ and will be broadcast free to air on Sky satellite, Virgin Media and Freesat.

The new factual channel focuses on the work of the armed forces and the world of defence. It is produced by SSVC, the independent charity that runs the British Forces Broadcasting Service (BFBS) for UK military personnel and their families.

Forces TV’s output consists of news, live events, features and documentaries about every aspect of the armed forces including operations, equipment, training, welfare, sport, charity fundraising and forces family life. Both Sky and the BBC are supporting the channel and providing it with content.

The channel’s primary target audience is the UK ‘forces community’ which is estimated at more than 12m individuals serving personnel, their families and friends, reservists, cadets, veterans and their dependants, and those who work alongside the forces and raise money for their charities. The channel is also aimed at the general public too.

The Prime Minister has welcomed the new channel. David Cameron said: “As more of our troops come home, it is vital that we do not lose touch with the amazing contribution that our armed forces have made and continue to make. We cannot forget them; we have to always remember the sacrifices they make. I am sure Forces TV will provide that vital link between the public and our service men and women and I wish it the very best for every success.”

SSVC Chief Executive Nick Pollard said: “Our teams have been working alongside the services for years and have an unrivalled and independent understanding of the UK’s armed forces. The new channel will bring the UK viewer a 24-hour-a-day picture of everything the forces are doing with great access behind the scenes, allowing the public to see an unprecedented picture of the military world. It’ll be full of unique insights and essential viewing for everyone who wants to understand what the armed forces are doing.”

The Sun newspaper is a sponsor and partner of Forces TV. The paper’s editor, David Dinsmore, said: “We support the men and women of Britain’s armed forces so we’re delighted to be a sponsor of the new channel.”

Chris Simpkins, Director General of the Royal British Legion, welcomed the launch of Forces TV. He said: “We are delighted to welcome and support Forces TV. We know how important it is that the British public understands and appreciates the work of the armed forces. Our own mission of meeting the welfare needs of those who have served and their families depends on public support. We wish Forces TV every success.”

Forces TV will broadcast round the clock from SSVC’s studios at Chalfont in Buckinghamshire. Early programmes include a documentary series with 3 Para, an exclusive production of the play ‘The Two Worlds of Charlie F’ about soldiers injured in battle and a special series behind the scenes at the Royal Hospital, Chelsea.

BFBS provides multi-channel television to forces personnel and their families overseas in locations such as Afghanistan, Germany, Canada, Cyprus, Gibraltar, the Falkland Islands, Canada and Nepal and to Royal Navy ships at sea. The television service receives strong support from Sky, BBC, ITV and other broadcasters.

BFBS also provides local radio services for overseas bases, a national UK radio service on DAB and 11 local radio stations in the UK at forces bases such as Catterick, Colchester, Aldershot, Bulford, Tidworth, Edinburgh, Brize Norton and in Northern Ireland.