General Conference Research GuideConference Frequently Asked QuestionsConference Broadcasts

Conference Broadcasts

General Conference Research Guide

When was conference first broadcast on the radio?

The first radio broadcast of general conference occurred on October 3, 1924, on local radio station KFPT, formerly KZN (it would become KSL in 1925). The conference was broadcast in its entirety. At the conference, President Heber J. Grant stated, “The exercises of today and throughout the conference are to be broadcasted; and it is estimated that in the neighborhood of a million people will be able to hear all that is said, provided they are listening in during the conference sessions. The radio is one of the most marvelous inventions man knows anything about. To have the voice carried for thousands of miles seems almost beyond comprehension.”1

Note: Amplifiers and other acoustical systems were used in 1923 so that people on the grounds of Temple Square and in the overflow could hear the conference. A microphone was used for the first time in conference in April 1924.

What is the earliest audio recording we have of general conference?

The earliest existing recording of general conference comes from April 5, 1936, during the third session of the 106th Annual General Conference. The talks of President Heber J. Grant and Elders David O. McKay and J. Reuben Clark were recorded onto a 16-inch transcription disc for rebroadcast as part of the CBS Church of the Air program broadcast from New York.

When was the first television broadcast of general conference?

General conference was broadcast over television for the first time on Friday, September 30, 1949, on KSL-TV. President George Albert Smith presided over the meeting and gave the first address.

When was the first satellite broadcast of general conference?

The first satellite broadcast of general conference occurred Sunday, April 9, 1967, and was an audio-only broadcast. Speakers at the conference included Elders N. Eldon Tanner, Alvin R. Dyer, Mark E. Petersen, and Howard W. Hunter. The Tabernacle Choir, under the direction of Richard P. Condie and with Alexander Schreiner at the organ, provided the music. The session was broadcast to Hawaii via the Lani Bird satellite orbiting 22,000 miles above the Pacific Ocean.2

The first satellite audio and video broadcast occurred Friday, October 3, 1975. Speakers included President Spencer W. Kimball and Elders Vaughn J. Featherstone, Hartman Rector Jr., Robert L. Simpson, and Bruce R. McConkie. The Tabernacle Choir, under the direction of Jerold Ottley and with Alexander Schreiner at the organ, provided the music. Through special arrangements of the Armed Forces Radio and Television Network, the Friday morning session was televised to bases of the U.S. Armed Forces throughout the Pacific.3

When was conference first available on the internet?

In October 1997, in affiliation with Bonneville International Corporation, NewsNet hosted audio conference internet casts in English and other languages.4

On October 2, 1999, live video of conference was made available on the internet with the assistance of the BYU Department of Communications. At the conference, then Elder Thomas S. Monson stated, “We extend our greetings to all . . . who are participating by means of television, cable, radio, or the Internet.”5

[1] Conference Report, Oct. 1924, 2.

[2] See Conference Report, Oct. 1924, 2.

[3] See Conference Report, Oct. 1975, 1; see also Ensign, Oct. 1975.

[4] See “Live video of conference available on the Internet,” Church News, Oct. 1, 1999, 13.

[5] In Conference Report, Oct. 1999, 25.