BYU TV (stylized as BYUtv) is a television channel, founded in 2000, which is owned and operated as a part of Brigham Young University (BYU). The channel, available through cable and satellite distributors in the United States, produces several original series and documentaries with emphases in comedy, history, lifestyle, music, and drama.
BYUtv also regularly broadcasts feature films, nature documentaries, acquired medical/crime dramas and religious programs (consistent with the university's sponsoring organization, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints LDS Church). Additionally, BYUtv Sports is the primary broadcaster of BYU Cougars athletics, producing more than 125 live sporting events in 2012 alone. The channel has won multiple Emmy Awards, and several of its original series has been praised by national television critics.
BYUtv broadcasts all of its original content, and most acquired content, worldwide online via its website. BYUtv is also carried through KBYU-TV, a television station in Provo, Utah also owned by the university, ensuring HD coverage across Salt Lake City and most of Utah. The channel is one of several operated by the university's BYU Broadcasting division, including the world feed BYUtv Global and BYUradio.
Multiple celebrity guests and artists have made special appearances on BYUtv, notably Imagine Dragons and Neon Trees on the series AUDIO-FILES; Lea Salonga, Howard Jones, Duncan Sheik and Sixpence None the Richer on The Song That Changed My Life; and Shawn Bradley, The Piano Guys, and Mates of State on Studio C. Major athletes like Steve Young, Ty Detmer, and Jimmer Fredette have also appeared on special BYUtv Sports broadcasts.
BYUtv was founded in 2000 and has grown from a "relatively unknown cable channel on a single satellite" to a national provider on Dish Network, DirecTV, and over 600 cable systems in the US.
During 2010 and 2011, newly appointed BYUtv director of content, Scott Swofford, commissioned focus groups targeting TV viewers who were at least nominally religious, to see what they liked, disliked and wanted on TV. Swofford summarized the results as "We want to be entertained.
Then we'll stick around for the message." This led to the creation of the pilot for Granite Flats, which became BYUtv's first and flagship original scripted television drama series, and went on to significantly expand the channel's audience, eventually attracting about 500,000 viewers per episode, compared to the previous top-rated show, Love of Quilting, which typically drew under 10,000.
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