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British Forces Broadcasting Service

The British Forces Broadcasting Service was established by the British War Office (now Ministry of Defence) in 1943, and today provides radio and television programming HM Forces, and their dependents worldwide, in Germany, Gibraltar, Cyprus, Falkland Islands, Belize, Brunei, Canada, Bosnia, Kosovo and the Middle East.

Since the 1980s, BFBS has formed part of the Services Sound and Vision Corporation (SSVC), a registered charity, also responsible for the British Defence Film Library, SSVC Cinemas, and Combined Services Entertainment, providing entertainment for HM Forces around the world. Neither BFBS Radio nor BFBS Television carry commercial advertising.

Table of contents
1 Radio
2 Television
3 External Links


BFBS Radio broadcasts on local FM and other frequencies. There are now two BFBS Radio services:

Much of the programming on Radio 2 is sourced from BBC Radio Four and BBC Radio Five Live, including the soap opera The Archers, which was popular in Hong Kong until BFBS ceased broadcasts after the handover to China in 1997. BFBS Radio also provides programming in Gurkhali, on account of the Gurkha regiments serving with the British Army.


BFBS Television first started in Germany in 1975, using taped broadcasts from the BBC and ITV, but now broadcasts live via satellite, although videotapes are still sent to forces on board ships or serving in more remote areas. Most programming comes from the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, including news from BBC News 24 and ITN, and sport from Sky Sports, but BFBS does have its own programmes, including BFBS Reports, Scene Here, the lifestyle programme Hung, Drawn and Quartered and the children's request programme Room 785.

It is encrypted for copyright reasons, as it is intended solely for HM Forces and their families. Until 1997, it was also widely available in Cyprus, but its signal is now encrypted or restricted to the Sovereign Base Areas of Akrotiri and Dhekelia as local broadcasters had bought local rights to show English football. However, it is watched by civilians in the Falkland Islands, where it is the only local TV service. Since 2001 there are now two BFBS Television services:

External Links