Broadcasters announce military channels for cable TV

SILVER SPRING, Md., 5 January 2005. Two cable broadcasters have announced they will launch new channels in 2005 to air solely military television programs.

SILVER SPRING, Md., 5 January 2005. Two cable broadcasters have announced they will launch new channels in 2005 to air solely military television programs.

The History Channel will unveil "The Military History Channel" and the Discovery Channel will re-launch its Discovery Wings Channel as "The Military Channel."

Both channels have featured military programming in the past, but the new ventures will broadcast round-the-clock.

The first one begins broadcasting on Mon., Jan. 10, as Discovery Wings Channel will be relaunched as the Military Channel. Its first night of primetime programming will feature the shows "Task Force Red Dog" and "Delta Company."

"Task Force Red Dog" tells the story of a unit of Marine Corps reservists, called to active duty and sent to the front line of the war on terror, a "forward operating base" deep in the mountains of Afghanistan. Their mission as a quick-response helicopter unit puts them in the epicenter of the hunt for Osama Bin Laden and the Taliban. TASK FORCE RED DOG premieres on Monday, January 10, at 8 PM (ET/PT).

"Delta Company" is a two-hour special that puts the audience on the forefront of the action with the Marines of Delta Company 1st Tank Battalion on their push to Baghdad during Operation Iraqi Freedom. DELTA COMPANY premieres on Monday, January 10, from 9-11 PM (ET/PT).

Other programs include:

· TOP TEN: These specials rank the greatest technological achievements in military history, in such categories as Top Ten Fighter Aircraft and Top Ten Tanks. TOP TEN: Fighter Aircraft premieres on Friday, January 28, from 8-9 PM (ET/PT).

· GOIN' BACK: Iwo Jima: This first installment of a regular series of specials allows viewers to travel with American war veterans and their families as they return to the battlefields that came to define their lives, in this case the Pacific island Iwo Jima. GOIN' BACK premieres on Thursday, February 24, at 9 PM (ET/PT).

· THE BLUE ANGELS: A YEAR IN THE LIFE: This four-hour world premiere miniseries event covers a year in the life of the Navy's legendary flight group. The special takes viewers behind the scenes to meet the people and follow the intricate work that goes into being the most elite air performance team in the world. THE BLUE ANGELS: A YEAR IN THE LIFE premieres on Thursday, March 17, and Friday, March 18, from 9-11 PM (ET/PT).

· RED FLAG: This one-hour special offers an unprecedented insider's view of the military's most realistic combat-training exercise held at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada, where air-combat warriors train to fly, fight and win beyond the speed of sound. RED FLAG premieres on Thursday, March 31, at 8 PM (ET/PT).

· BATTLE PLAN: This multipart series takes viewers into the heart of famous battles, examining the development and execution of the strategy behind each one - from the hard, fast, merciless assault of a blitzkrieg to the tactics of deception of urban warfare. BATTLE PLAN premieres on Tuesday, January 11, at 8 PM (ET/PT).

This new lineup is designed to take viewers "behind the lines" to tell the personal stories of servicemen and women and offer in-depth explorations of military technology, battlefield strategy, aviation, and history, The Military Channel's website says. It will also showcase military personnel and hardware, allowing viewers to experience and understand a world full of human drama, courage, innovation, and long-held traditions.

"Our viewers have a deep interest in military topics and people," said David Karp, senior vice president and general manager of the channel. "Our mission is to tap into this passion by providing a high-quality lens that details contemporary and historical events, explores its human elements and highlights the strategic and technological advances that define the world of the armed forces."

From Iraq and Afghanistan to historic battlefields, from wartime heroes and peacetime innovators to state-of-the-art technology and the key strategies that have shaped military tactics, the network's programming will cover a wide range of topics. For more information, see http://wings.discovery.com.

The other new cable channel -- the Military History Channel -- will begin full-time programming in the spring.

In the meantime, viewers can preview its programming on The History Channel and History Channel International. For more information, see www.historychannel.com.

"While we will continue to present military programming on the History Channel, this new network, Military History Channel, provides a targeted destination for new and core viewers to immerse themselves in this fascinating and instructional genre," said Dan Davids, president of the network.

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