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Armed Forces Network to show NFL conference title games despite government shutdown

United States military personnel stationed overseas will be able to watch Sunday’s NFL conference championship games, despite the ongoing government shutdown.

The American Forces Network – also known as the Armed Forces Network – which allows U.S. armed forces to watch American TV around the world, had been unavailable since a standoff over immigration policy caused the shutdown Friday night at midnight.

The American Forces Network is unavailable due to the government shutdown. (Photo: @soju_warrior on Twitter)

But, according to NFL PR director Brian McCarthy, AFN will be up Sunday afternoon, and will air both the NFC and AFC title games as originally planned.

The Pentagon had said Saturday that AFN would remain unavailable if the shutdown continued into Sunday. The NFL’s response was to make the games available online for free through NFL Game Pass, but only at USO Centers — which are few and far between around the world.

[Stream the NFL Playoffs live on the Yahoo Sports mobile app]

Many reported that, during the government shutdown in 2013, AFN remained on air. Military members – and especially those who are NFL fans – were thus frustrated to see that TVs were displaying messages that AFN was not available.

Some posted photos on Twitter that showed those TVs and that message:







But it appears AFN will be back up by 3 p.m. ET on Sunday.

It’s unclear who reversed the initial decision, or why, or what the reasoning for the initial decision was in the first place. But what matters is that the armed forces will get to watch the football games they were looking forward to.