List of channels on BFBS TV
More info: BFBS on Wikipedia
The British Forces Broadcasting Service (BFBS) provides radio and television programmes for Her Majesty's Armed Forces, and their dependents worldwide. Editorial control is independent of the Ministry of Defence and the armed forces themselves. It was established by the British War Office (now the Ministry of Defence) in 1943. In 1944, it was managed by Gale Pedrick.
Originally known as the Forces Broadcasting Service (FBS), it was initially under the control of the British Army Welfare Service, with its first effort, the Middle East Broadcasting Unit, with its headquarters in Cairo. Before and after end of the Second World War, various radio stations were set up, some using the FBS name, others using the name British Forces Network (BFN), but by the early 1960s, these had all adopted the BFBS name.
From 1982 until 2020, BFBS formed part of the Services Sound and Vision Corporation (SSVC), a registered charity, which is also responsible for the British Defence Film Library, SSVC Cinemas (now BFBS Cinemas), and Combined Services Entertainment (CSE; now BFBS Live Events), providing entertainment for HM Forces around the world. In March 2020, most of the properties under the SSVC umbrella were rebranded under the new BFBS and Forces brandings. On 23 July 2020, SSVC was renamed BFBS. BFBS does not carry commercial advertising.
BFBS Television started in Celle, near Hanover in the then West Germany, on 18 September 1975 from Trenchard Barracks. This used taped broadcasts from the BBC and ITV, flown to Germany from London, which were then rebroadcast using low-power UHF transmitters. Live broadcasts of news and sport began in 1982, using a microwave link between the UK and West Germany, extending as far east as West Berlin.
The BFBS TV service used the 625-line PAL system, used in the UK as well as West Germany. By 1982, it was available at 50 sites throughout northern and central regions of West Germany.
It was known as SSVC Television (Services Sound and Vision Corporation) between 1985 and 1997, when it reverted to the BFBS name. Today it now broadcasts live via satellite. DVDs are still sent to forces serving in more remote areas. There was also a service known as Navy TV, which broadcasts time-shifted versions of the channel to Royal Navy vessels around the world via military satellite.
All channels below are free-to-air to military personnel and their families. A viewing card may be required for copyright reasons.
All times GMT/BST
- 1 - Broadcasts BBC Bitesize Daily for Primary, BBC Bitesize Daily for Secondary and BBC Bitesize Daily from BBC Two HD (Network version in UK) during COVID-19 lockdowns.
- (Broadcast between 11:00-16:00, but times and number of episodes vary. Some episodes are simulcasted from BBC Two HD (Network version in UK) dependent of schedule.)
- 2 - Simulcasts BBC Two HD (Network version in UK) for when sports programmes are on from 04:00-18:00.
- 3 - BBC Two HD will be shown first in GMT/BST on channel 2. For example, if in Falkland Islands, BBC Two HD on channel 12 will be timeshifted +21 hours.