Armed Forces TV station Forces TV will today launch on Sky, Virgin Media and Freesat.
The channel, funded by charity SSVC – which also runs the British Forces Broadcasting Service (BFBS) – has the support of Prime Minister David Cameron and Labour leader Ed Miliband, and the service launches with partner and sponsor The Sun.
Nick Pollard, SSVC chief executive, explained: “The new channel will bring the UK viewer a 24-hour-a-day picture of everything the forces are doing with great access behind the scenes, allowing the public to see an unprecedented picture of the military world.
“It’ll be full of unique insights and essential viewing for everyone who wants to understand what the armed forces are doing.”
The prime minister added: “As more of our troops come home, it is vital that we do not lose touch with the amazing contribution that our armed forces have made and continue to make.
“We cannot forget them; we have to always remember the sacrifices they make. I am sure Forces TV will provide that vital link between the public and our service men and women and I wish it the very best for every success.”
Sky and the BBC will contribute content to the channel, which will broadcast from SSVC’s studios at Chalfont in Buckinghamshire. It will be funded by SSVC and carry advertising and sponsorship.
Programmes include a documentary series with 3 Para, the 3rd Battalion Parachute Regiment, a production of a play about a soldier injured in battle ‘The Two Worlds of Charlie F’, and a series taking viewers behind the scenes at the Royal Hospital, Chelsea.
The free-to-air channel is available on Sky channel 299, Virgin Media channel 244 and Freesat channel 652.