To 90 cable operators throughout Central, South America
A new programming service from BYU Broadcasting was launched March 2 to serve audiences throughout Central and South America, the Caribbean, Spain, Portugal and the United States. At launch BYU Television International had carriage commitments from 90 cable operators throughout Central and South America.
BYU Television International carries content from Brigham Young University and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, including educational offerings, documentaries, musical and dramatic performances, sports, religious instruction and other programs intended to improve the lives of individuals and families. Programming is offered in Spanish, Portuguese and English.
BYU Television International is the sister station of BYU Television, which launched throughout the United States on the DISH Network and now reaches 44 million homes throughout the United States via the DISH Network, DIRECTV and 180 cable systems.
“Over the past seven years, the success of BYU Television has been a tremendous asset in extending the reach of both BYU and the Church of Jesus Christ to the world,” said Cecil O. Samuleson, president of BYU. “Now, with the addition of BYU Television International, those whose primary language is Spanish or Portuguese will be able to receive the blessings of this programming. We are certain that by providing programming from the university and the Church that is both educational and inspirational, countless individuals and families will be blessed.”
The decision to launch BYU Television International was made as a result of an increasing demand for translated content from BYU and the Church of Jesus Christ and because of the rapid growth of the Church in Central and South America.
“In 2005, BYU Television was contacted by a cable system near Lima, Peru, which had an interest in carrying our channel,” said Derek Marquis, managing director of BYU Broadcasting. “Not long after this system began carrying BYU Television, several representatives from the university had the opportunity to travel to Peru, where we were overwhelmed by the response of viewers to the station. That experience led to discussions and analysis of the opportunities in Latin America, as well as to a very generous donation from Rex and Ruth Maughan of Phoenix, AriZ., which has made possible this expansion of our services.”
The plan to launch BYU Television International was approved in late 2006 by BYU’s Board of Trustees, paving the way to begin broadcasting just prior to the 177th annual general conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
The content available on BYU Television International will not be identical to BYU Television in order to better serve an international audience.
“Many of our programs are well-suited to an international audience, but there are those that were created specifically for our viewers in the United States,” Marquis said. “We have learned much through our research of audience content preferences and we have tried to address cultural differences through a different mix of programming. We will begin broadcasting with almost 150 hours of translated programming, and will be adding to that regularly as we continue translating the content we have in our library.”
BYU Television International will be made available to cable and home satellite providers in the United States and will soon be carried by Comcast Cable in northern Utah. A complete listing of cable and satellite systems offering BYU Television International, as well as program listings, is available at www.byutvint.org.
Writer: Jim Bell