Shutdown or not, AFN will broadcast NFL championship games

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Military members can watch tomorrow's NFL games at USO Centers overseas through NFL Game Pass for free.

"Under a government shutdown, sports broadcasts are not considered an essential activity", Pentagon spokeswoman Dana White said.

The network enables US service members around the world to watch American TV, but with the government shutdown underway, the service was cut off.

This means that USA military members overseas, if they so choose, can watch the Jacksonville Jaguars take on the New England Patriots, and the Philadelphia Eagles square up against the Minnesota Vikings.

By Sunday morning, McCarthy announced that the AFN would air the games after all.

New England takes on Jacksonville in the AFC championship, and Minnesota faces Philadelphia in the NFC championship. But USO Centers are few and far between around the world.

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AFN relies on civilian government employees, who were furloughed at midnight Saturday.

As the network that broadcasts National Football League playoff games overseas, that would mean that troops stationed overseas would have no way of watching the games.

However, if congress does not strike a deal to get things back to normal within a couple of weeks, there will be bigger problems for the armed forces; though they will still be required to work, they will not get paid after February 1 during a government shutdown, CNN reported.

The American Forces Network, which provides entertainment and command information to American military overseas and was scheduled to telecast the AFC and NFC title games, stopped broadcasting Saturday in Europe, Stars and Stripes reported.

The network received some angry comments on Facebook from viewers about the timing, though some of the ire was directed at members of Congress.

At the last minute, however, the Department of Defense reclassified AFN as an "essential" service, letting military personnel see the games.

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