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BYUtv's Emmy-nominated "Welcome Home"

BYUtv is a non-commercial, value-based television network. Its mission is "to create purposeful, engaging viewing and listening experiences that entertain, inspire, uplift, and improve families and communities."[1]

Launched in January 2000, BYUtv was restructured from the public television station KBYU. Public television stations rely heavily on membership dollars, but BYUtv is broadcast to audiences through cable, satellite, and digital media platforms.

BYUtv's diverse portfolio of original, co-produced, and acquired content includes scripted and unscripted dramas and comedies, 700+ hours of live HD collegiate sports, game shows, and holiday special made-for-tv movies, docudramas, and concerts.

A digital pioneer, BYUtv was the first U.S. television network to stream all of its content live and unencrypted over the Internet. Today, BYUtv has more than two million YouTube subscribers and nearly two billion views and is available live and on-demand on multiple digital platforms free of charge, including Apple TV, YouTube, Roku, Amazon Fire, Chromecast, Xbox One, Windows Media, digital apps for iOS and Android, and[2]

Based in Provo, Utah, BYUtv is part of BYU Broadcasting, which is owned by Brigham Young University. Jeff M. Simpson is the managing director of BYU Broadcasting.

BYUtv has taken home dozens of regional Emmy Awards. In 2020, the network received its first Daytime Emmy® Award nomination. The network was co-nominated with The CW in the Outstanding Special Class Series category for "Welcome Home," which gives home makeovers for struggling families.

For the first time in its history, the Emmy Awards held a ceremony in 2022 to specifically honor children and family content — the fastest-growing genre that the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences awards, according to Over the past two years, the industry has seen a 23% increase in children/family programming, per On Dec. 11, the inaugural Children’s and Family Emmy Awards celebrated several of these new works — including the Disney+ movie “Sneakerella” and Netflix’s “The Baby-Sitters Club,” which both boast a remarkable 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

Overall, Netflix and Disney+ came out as the big winners in the ceremony, each claiming 23 and 14 awards, respectively. BYUtv, collaborating with BBC, won its first national Emmy Award — the only nonmajor streamer/network to secure a victory. BYU won its first national Emmy for “The Canterville Ghost” — a contemporary adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s short story — beating out shows like Disney Channel’s “High School Musical: The Musical: The Series” and Netflix’s “The Baby-Sitters Club” in the category for outstanding makeup and hairstyling.[3]

BYUtv’s show “Ruby and the Well” earned a nomination in the category for outstanding music direction and composition for a live-action program.[4]

Early Successes

In fall of 2010 BYUtv hired Scott Swofford as BYU Broadcasting's creative director and a man with a revolutionary vision for BYUtv, as the station expands into uplifting programming that is not necessarily Mormon in content. The network's motto is "See the Good."

During four and a half years as director of media for the Missionary Department of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Swofford's most tangible accomplishment was devising and launching the "I'm a Mormon" ad campaign.

Mormon TV
A Scene from the BYU-TV documentary, Fires of Faith

Ten new series were launched in fall 2011, including "American Ride" — a tour of U.S. historical sites hosted by macho motorcyclist Stan Ellsworth. A multi-part documentary film called "Fires of Faith" portrayed the coming forth of the King James Version of the Holy Bible and has been nationally recognized. Another series called "Turning Point" is a collection of inspirational stories about people who made one pivotal decision that changed their life in a positive way.

BYUtv also launched "The Story Trek", hosted by Todd Hansen, a former reporter at Salt Lake City Fox affiliate KSTU. In the show, the newsman goes to off-the-beaten-track locales, has someone pick a direction and a distance for him to travel, and then knocks on doors of ordinary Americans until he finds someone who is willing to tell their (often remarkable) story. "Dining With the Dean" is a gourmet cooking competition that pits college organizations against one another in a cook-off, with prize money going to charity.

BYUtv also enhanced its sports coverage.

An October 2011 article in MultiChannel News recognized the strides made by BYUtv. [5] The article was titled "A Long Way from Preach and Teach."

"While the network still offers some programming that focuses strongly on the Mormon faith, like a devotional service and performances from the Mormon Tabernacle Choir on weekends, much of the new programming is focused on common bonds of faith and family that resonate with people of all religions."

A Professionally Run Network

BYUtv is not a student-run operation. "BYUtv buys shows from professional production companies that are not directly linked to the channel," according to Salt Lake Tribune writer Scott D. Pierce. "The production quality is as good or better than the vast majority of what you’ll see across network and cable TV and streaming services."[6]

Among its top shows are "The Chosen," "Hearland," "Relative Race," "Random Acts," "Malory Towers," "Making Good," "Ruby and the Well," "How I Got Here,"artFUL," "All-Around Champion," "The Fixers: Building Hope," "Grace Notes," "Itch," "Holly Hobbie," "9 Years of Neptune," "Dwight in Shining Armor," "The Wizard of Paws," "Saving Me," "Deep Blue," "BYU Sports Nation," Studio C," and "Music & the Spoken Word." The original BYUtv scripted series "Granite Flats" is also available for viewing. Numerous other shows are categorized as adventure and competition, faith and inspiration, drama, comedy, and family.[7]