Cougar Nation has fans all over the world, and even in the far reaches of the globe there are families and individuals who actively follow BYU sports. Thanks to the BYU Television International channel, they can watch sporting events taking place in Provo from the comfort of their homes.
Not only does BYU International Television air BYU sports programs, it also carries devotionals, forums, general conference, musical performances, documentaries and programs tailored to international audiences, according to byutvint.org. The accessibility of programs available in Spanish, Portuguese and English worldwide has grown steadily in recent years on BYUtv.
Andrew Tolman, 23, from Salt Lake City and majoring in political science, has worked as a television operator for BYU Broadcasting for more than a year, and in that short amount of time has seen the growth of BYUtv firsthand.
“BYU is getting out there in a new format,” Tolman said. “BYUtv is becoming a new media haven for people who want to watch quality and uplifting programs.”
Saul Leal is the station manager for BYU International Television, one of the four BYU Broadcasting channels. His channel has won a regional Emmy award and numerous Telly awards, which recognize the best local and regional television programs.
Content for the channel primarily comes from material shot in Provo, but many shows are shot on location worldwide. Additionally, it broadcasts content provided by independent producers. BYU International Television is carried by more than 250 cable providers in Latin and South America.
“There isn’t a university in the world with a television program at the caliber, distribution, quality and reach that we have here,” Leal said.
The international channel requires numerous translators to make its content available in Spanish, Portuguese and English. With many fluent foreign language-speaking return missionaries and international students living in Provo, the station has more than 200 trained volunteers creating the best quality translation possible.
“When you translate audio for television you have to translate everything,” Leal said. “You need to include the little things in the translation, like pauses, sneezing and laughing; this helps translate and replicate emotions in speech and what we call translating a 3D environment.”
A typical show on BYU International Television only lasts 30 minutes. Producing a single 30-minute show — translating, recording voice-overs, cleaning up the audio and editing it all together — can take upward of 30 hours alone for each language.
“It is very detail oriented,” Leal said. “You want to talk about modern miracles — just look at what we are able to do here on a weekly basis.”
BYU Television International is available locally and worldwide through cable, satellite and online at byutvint.org.