AFN Family is an American-based international family-oriented television network that airs, (mostly reruns of) many popular children’s and family-targeted television programs and movies that is owned and operated by the US Military, (specifically The Department of Defense’s Defense Media Activityprogram.) In its current state, the network's lineup mostly consists of reruns of older children's programs that are no longer broadcasted on mainstream children's television networks, (such as Blue's Clues, Fanboy & Chum Chum, and Go, Diego, Go!,) with delayed premieres of new programs and episodes, (such as Blaze and the Monster Machines, The Loud House, and SpongeBob SquarePants,) being shown in various times throughout the week. The lineup also consists of a collection of premieres of older and delayed theatrical-released movies. Since 2015, the channel has also aired along sides an overnight block tilted AFN Pulse, airing shows targeted to teens and young adults. Because of this, the channel currently runs from 8 AM to 10 PM International Time.
The channel is a part of (as of 2019) seven other multiplex channels covering entertainment in general, sports, live and pre-recorded news, and (mostly) adult and R-rated movies. As with most US Military products, AFN is designed to ”compete” with most American television networks by using comparative branding. In other words, AFN’s networks are designed to look like their American or state-side counterparts.
Furthermore, AFN's main purpose is to provide programs from US cable networks (like Nickelodeon), and other national networks, and then to rebroadcast those programs for US troops and their families overseas via satellite. It has been airing most, not if all of Nickelodeon programs produced since the late 80's or very early 90's. AFN stands for American/Armed Forces Network and is the current branding used for a vast collection of television and radio networks owned or affiliated with the US Military.
HistoryAFN's history can be traced back to the 1940s, being found by the US Department of War as a radio service starting in Alska. A television service was launched in 1954. Starting in June of 1945, famously, AFN's first Germany service was launched. The networks were famous for servicing US Troop during hard war times during the 1940s into the 1970s, such as World War II and the Korean War.
Starting in the mid-1960s, AFN began to air children's programs. Delayed reruns of programs such as Mr. Rogers, Sesame Street, The Flintstones, and Romper Room, were aired in an unbranded block during the morning and early afternoon. The color was added in 1975. During these programs, command spots and “commercials” were played. This practice was mainly used from the 1970s to the 1990s, especially during the 80s. Starting in the 90s, AFN added more shows to the block, later leading to the creation of AFN Kids.
Before AFN Family was launched, Nickelodeon shows, (and other programs) were aired in a children’s programming block on the main AFN channel, called AFN Kids. The block was targeted to mainly children; featuring kid-oriented ”commercials", bumpers, and programs. Family programs (at the time) were aired in evening time slots on the main AFN channel, (currently known as AFN Prime.) These programs were moved to AFN Family when it launched in 2004. After that point, AFN Kids was discontinued in favor of more daytime programs, game shows, and soap operas taking up its timeslot on AFN Prime.
After AFN Kids
AFN Family was launched in 2004, and featured programs from the AFN Kids block, (with several promos still being kept intact, ) along with newer programs. Several new bumpers were also produced. Programs include those from Nickelodeon, Disney, PBS, and Warner Brothers, among other distribution companies.
In 2011, two weekend cartoon blocks entitled ”Sunday Funtoons!, ” featuring programs for more younger children, (however not preschoolers, ) such as Spongebob Squarepants, and Back at the Barnyard, and ”Super Charged Saturday, ” featuring more action-based programs for older children, such as Avatar: The Last Airbender, were added to weekend time slots, however these blocks were later removed.In 2015, an overnight block called AFN Pulse was added, running during AFN Family's evening time slot airing programs from major US networks targeted to teens and young adults.
Later in 2017, High Definition was added to the channel, along with a new bumper repackage, as AFN celebrated its 75th year anniversary.
Availability and BroadcastThe channel is distributed through base cable systems and is attainable over satellite with an authorized decoder. The channel is not broadcast in North America.
Even though is not owned by Nickelodeon or Viacom, AFN is connected to Nickelodeon in a way as it reruns its programs. AFN's programs are usually offered for free or at a low cost, however with the consequence of new episodes of these programs airing on a time delay from 24 hours to 6 months. A notable factor of AFN is that it has never (nationally) produced any original series, (outside of locally produced news and weathercasts on local AFN networks, however, these have come less present as AFN reworked its overseas networks into national AFN branding since 1997.)
Because AFN is not allowed to air paid commercials, (due to its ownership by the US Military, ) the program's source network must remove all advertisements before the program can be aired (or "rebroadcasted", as AFN terms it) on AFN Family, or any AFN network, meaning broadcasted programs air uninterrupted.
AFN currently has about 60 radio stations, and about 30 over-the-air television stations that services mostly European and Asian countries.
A notable factor about AFN Family is that most of its programs have been in repeats to the present, such as Blue's Clues and Franklin, and that almost none of them have been seen on current American television in several years, such as Ni Hao, Kai-Lan and Go, Diego, Go!. Simply put, many programs that are seen on AFN Family have been reruns for over a decade at this point.
Current Nickelodeon (USA) programs include:
- SpongeBob SquarePants (episodes air once a week at 6:30 PM)
- The Fairly OddParents
- Nicky, Ricky, Dicky & Dawn
- Henry Danger
- Dora the Explorer
- Blue's Clues (episodes air twice a week at 8:00 and 8:30 AM.)
- Bubble Guppies
- PAW Patrol
- Tickety Tock
- Go, Diego, Go!
- Knight Squad
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
- Butterbean's Café
- Zack & Quack
- The Loud House
- Ni Hao, Kai-Lan
- The Backyardigans
- Blaze and the Monster Machines
- Fanboy & Chum Chum
- Kuu Kuu Harajuku
- Wonder Pets!
- Mike the Knight
- Degrassi: The Next Generation (AFN Pulse)
- Are You Afraid of the Dark? (2019 Series)
- Double Dare (2018 Series)
- Team Umizoomi
- The Casagrandes (premiered in March, 2020)
- The Adventures of Padddington Bear
Formerly aired (incomplete)
- Max and Ruby
- Rugrats (aired on a notable delay)
- The Wild Thornberrys
- Invader Zim (currently unknown)
- Hey Arnold!
- The Mighty B!
- Back at the Barnyard
- Top Elf (premiered December 20th, aired once)
- Gullah Gullah Island
- The Adventures of Kid Danger
- Eureeka's Castle
- The Wubbulous World of Dr. Seuss
- All Grown Up!
- Bunsen Is a Beast
- Blue's Clues & You! (currently unknown)
The channel also plays a 1-hour block of Christian programs on Sunday mornings.
- AFN does not air commercials. In their place, command spots and public service announcements are play.
- AFN has been around for about 80 years, since 1942, making it older than Nickelodeon, who was launched in 1979, and the oldest TV network and organization, (not company, due it being owned by the government,) on this wiki.
- AFN Family does not air any program or movie with the TV-MA, R, or the NC ratings.
- As time as gone on, AFN has closed many of its radio stations. Well known ones include. AFN Berlin, (closed in 1994) and Munich, (closed in 1992.)
- The channel has never aired any Nick at Nite series.
- AFN's main network, AFN Prime, (featuring a mixure of programs that are similar to mainstream American broadcast networks,) also broadcasts over-the-air thorugh analog and digital signals in some areas.