Review ROKU and BYU-TV  What is it worth? 

ROKU screen home card

Americans who are staying at home are being introduced to new entertainment technology on the television.  With that introduction, the entertainment platforms include ROKU , which is a means to distribute video and audio entertainment by streaming over the internet. Streaming means the show is available on call, and does not rely on scheduled  programming which is the business model for the major Television networks.  The advantage is that a half million programs can be called up, on 10,000 channels, without waiting for thousands or millions of others to tune in.  The viewer can also pause the show, and leave and pick it back up at the convenience of the consumer. Watch it anytime, as long or little as wanted.   ROKU  began  TV streaming about two decades ago.  After 2 decades, as of 2020, there are about 40 million ROKU units.  ROKU sells the computer processor for about $50 (starting at $30), and then the viewer can watch no fee programming (no monthly fees) , or fee programs, sometimes called ‘pay’ TV.

byu tv

            ROKU,  after 20 years, includes BYU TV and the Saints channel.  They are part of  upwards of six dozen outlets on ROKU, each with a card on ROKU’s home page. Most outlets have, in turn, access to many more channels or sources of programming.  So as we sit in front of the TV and channel surf  through the ROKU outlets, we move through cards with links to NASA, Disney Plus, Pluto, YouTube,  the networks, News,  PBS,  Netflix, ESPN, Hulu, Showtime, HBO, Sirius SM, Pandora  and so forth.  Surfing the ROKU cards, includes BYU-TV’s card, unless deleted.

            BYU-TV card is visible many times over.   BYU-TV is a mix of music, comedy, reality,  and English produced scripted shows, food,  game shows,  spiritual,  movies and family TV.  BYU-TV produces many of their programs, offering original  shows, providing employment for talent and production crews,  equipment, and writers and composers.  BYU-TV eschews tobacco, liquor,  gambling, lotteries promotion and advertising.  The quick look ‘on-demand content that is described by BYUtv as “family oriented programming that encourages viewers to ‘see the good in the world.'”

            What is missing from the ROKU lineup cards?  Missing are Yale TV, Harvard TV,  Stanford , University of Utah , Pac 12,  Ivy League , Oklahoma University, Notre Dame, Westpoint, Big 10 and  any other college TV. ROKU runs ads  for schools, including Southern New Hampshire University SNHU, but no cards are with the rest of the outlets.

            How much BYU TV spends on its productions, may be out there, whatever the amount is a bargain, as the BYU-TV card is seen by tens of millions, every day. How many?  We can probably  estimate an average of 2 and a half viewers per box or 100 million viewers, of all ages.  ROKU is reporting  its active users are each streaming three hours and a half per day,  or a billion hours a week, or 142 million hours a day.   

            As a comparison, the Super Bowl for 2020 charges $5.6 million for a  30 second ad, or $186 thousand a second for  an estimated 100 million people,  (99.9) which figures out to a penny per person  for every five seconds.  Using the Superbowl   as a basis,  BYU TV’s card is seen by  a hundred million viewers, even if at a glance.   So, one can make  a persuasive argument that  the value of the card  ‘views’ is easily  $1  million a day, assuming the viewers  see the card a half dozen times in their 3 and a half hours.  Even a passing glance. That is the value, if BYU-TV had to buy hits advertising in commercial or social media. That figures $30 million a month, which is off the books, no money is exchanging hands.  But nevertheless, these cards on ROKU’s  index have real value. 

            For BYU-TV, the ROKU visibility could be compared to the exposure BYU football brings the university.   An article  quoting BYU’s 2015 report to the US Department of Education estimated the BYU football made about $4.5 million from TV and radio. Assuming 7% increase for 5 years raises the figure to $6 million a year in 2020.  So ROKU  card gallery is worth 5  TV and  radio contracts a month. Quite a feat.

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