Meet BYUtv, the 20-Year-Old TV Network You’ve Probably Never Heard Of

TCA 2020: The twice-annual press tour gives smaller channels a chance at the spotlight

For every Fox, Amazon and HBO that comes to the twice-yearly Television Critics Association press tour, you’re just as likely to see a Rooster Teeth, Curiosity Stream and, for the past couple of press tours, BYUtv. That’s right, the Utah-based college, Brigham Young University, has its own TV network. In fact, BYUtv has existed since 2000.

The TCA is as much a vehicle for networks to tout their upcoming shows, as it is for little-seen channels like BYUtv to get out the word out about what they are.

The commercial-free network offers more than 1,700 hours of programming, with an emphasis on faith-based and “uplifting” content aimed at getting parents and their children to watch together. The channel is available in more than 50 million homes through Dish Network, DirecTV and 146 other cable providers, as well as over-the-air in Salt Lake City (where it originated) and via streaming. And, of course, BYUtv is the main home of BYUtv athletics. But over the last year, it’s aimed to branch out into a more fully-fledged original content hub.

“Over the past two years, we have made tremendous strides from a full network rebrand, to a pivot in our family entertainment co-viewing space, to more than tripling our content creation in this area,” BYUtv’s director of content, Andra Johnson Duke, said on Saturday, while introducing BYUtv’s latest series, “Wayne Brady’s Comedy IQ.”

“As a growing network, BYU’s focus is to provide purposeful and uplifting content that parents and children can enjoy — as our tagline states — together,” Duke continued. “We’re always looking for that idea or programming that not only entertains but has a strong inspirational core.”

BYUtv last year unveiled their family and kids-focused rebrand.

BYUtv’s original programming slate includes the scripted adventure comedy “Dwight in Shining Armor,” in which the Middle Ages meets Middle America; the sketch comedy series “Studio C,”; and “RelativeRace,” the first family history-based competitive reality show that follows four teams as they meet relatives linked by DNA for the first time in a race throughout the United States.

The new Wayne Brady series debuts in April and sees the newly-crowned “Masked Singer” winner lead a comedy boot camp for children.

So, welcome to the party BYUtv… even though it looks like you’ve been here awhile.

Tim Baysinger

Tim Baysinger

TV Reporter • • Twitter: @tim_bays


The news
you need now,
more than ever.

See Subscription Options
Try PRO today