PROVO — BYU Broadcasting announced Wednesday that it is developing free apps for Xbox 360 and Android that will give users of those devices nearly unlimited access to BYUtv content, including sports programming, live streaming TV and video on demand.
The new apps will join those already available for iPhone, iPad and Roku, and are part of a continuing effort to make programming from BYUtv more widely available, BYUtv Digital Media Director Ryan Holmes said.
Though videos from the apps will contain advertisements, BYUtv's end goal is not monetization, he said. The apps will make most of BYUtv's current and past programming available to viewers for free on demand, except for programs BYU Broadcasting does not own the rights to, such as Disney movies occasionally shown on the channel.
The new apps will include all the features of the current BYUtv apps and website, plus a digital video recorder-like replay feature for live streams, and the ability to follow specific series within the app, allowing users to find new episodes of their favorites more readily.
Because of the wide variety of devices running Android, Holmes said they have designed the app with Samsung, Google and Amazon devices in mind. However, the app should function on any device running Android 4.0 or higher.
The online expansion is necessary to grow and maintain BYUtv's audience, especially among young viewers, Holmes said.
"We just felt like there is a major shift coming in broadcasting," he said. "The rising generation just chooses to watch television differently. It's not appointment television anymore. They want their show when they want it, and they're happiest when they aren't paying for it."
Expanding online will also help BYUtv reach international viewers, Holmes said, and the apps will be aware of users' locations and will offer global channels accordingly.
Both the Android and Xbox 360 apps should be available in time for football season this fall, BYUtv says. The channel broadcasts several BYU football games each season, as well as other BYU sports and sports-related programming.