Changing with the times: BYUtv

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BYUtv has been evolving since it started 14 years ago to be "up with the times." It has seen major success in shows such as  "Studio C." (Photo courtesy of BYU Broadcasting.)
BYUtv has been evolving since it started 14 years ago to be “up with the times.” It has seen major success in shows such as “Studio C.” (Photo courtesy of BYU Broadcasting.)

BYUtv looked different when it first launched 14 years ago. Originally created as a way to connect the three BYU campuses in Idaho, Hawaii and Utah to air devotionals, the channel has now become a station that carries original, entertaining and uplifting content.

In the last year or so, “Granite Flats,” “Studio C,” “American Ride” and other shows have been viewed in 50 million homes on DirectTV, Dish Network and more than 800 cable systems. Last year, BYUtv announced it was working to makes its content available on Android and Xbox apps. 

“We want to make sure things resonate well with audiences,” said Jared Shores, producer of “Studio C.”

The efforts of BYUtv and BYU Broadcasting to evolve and attract audiences have not gone unnoticed.

“(BYUtv) is more hip than it used to be,” said Liz Christopher, wife of one of the “Granite Flats” cast. “It is more fun, and that is what attracts people. There are definitely a lot of my friends commenting on this on social media, which is neat since it is coming out of Provo, Utah.”

Additionally, BYUtv won seven regional Emmy nominations in 2013, which is more than previous years, according to a press release.

“We have extended our programming to not just be aimed at religious themes, but at other content that attracts audiences from all kinds of backgrounds,” said Emily Blackhurst, an employee at BYU Broadcasting.

The target audience is also shifting to include a younger demographic, according to marketing coordinator Miles Nielson.

“There are certainly more families with children and even college students watching than ever before,” Nielson said.

Many actors from hubs like Los Angeles are landing in Utah to be involved with “Granite Flats,” which shows BYUtv’s growing influence.

Charlie Plummer, one of the child detectives from the show “Granite Flats,” also commented on the increasing popularity of the channel.

“I know a lot of people that do watch BYUtv from where I am from in New York,” Plummer said.

Time will tell where BYUtv will go in the future, but it is certainly going places that weren’t imagined at its conception.

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