Watch Saturday’s Battle of the Dockyards live on BFBS TV


Watch Saturday’s Battle of the Dockyards - Live - only on BFBS TV

Royal Marines and Royal Naval personnel deployed around the world, including in the Gulf, Iraq and Afghanistan, will be able to watch live coverage of this Saturday’s FA Cup tie between Portsmouth FC and Plymouth Argyle, which has been dubbed the Battle of the Dockyards. Coverage starts at 15.50CET on BFBS2.

This fourth round FA Cup clash at Fratton Park is not being shown live in the UK, but thanks to BFBS’s close links with the FA and BBC Sport, BFBS TV will be showing the match live to British Forces overseas, from the Falklands to Afghanistan, including HM ships at sea.

“Every since the draw was made, we’ve been inundated with requests from Royal Navy personnel around the globe to show the game live,” says BFBS TV’s sports producer, Jon Knighton. “We found out that BBC Sport were covering it, but only for highlights in Match of the Day, so we asked them if we could take the feed live – and they were delighted to help out.”

If the underdogs Plymouth manage to beat the Premier League side, no doubt the biggest cheer will be heard on board HMS Argyll. Indeed, with HM Ships Illustrious, Nottingham, Clyde, Manchester and Endurance all currently deployed from Portsmouth, and Plymouth-based HMS Argyll, Campbeltown and Enterprise away on duty, there’ll be no shortage of fans cheering on this match which splits Royal Navy loyalties right down the middle.

BFBS TV is received by ships at sea in one of two ways. About half of the fleet have now had stabilised tracking satellite dishes installed, and so can pick up all of BFBS TV’s six channels. The other half receive ‘TOMS’ TV – Television Over Military Satellite – a single bespoke mosaic of BFBS TV’s output which uses spare bandwidth on the Skynet military satellite. Whichever method they use, they’ll all get the match on Saturday.

Shore-based personnel overseas receive BFBS TV either by DTH or cable system, and in Iraq and Afghanistan BFBS has installed DTT so that troops can watch on their own TV with a ‘Freeview’ box, or even on their laptop with a USB DTT stick.
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