1939: First Major League Baseball Game Airs On TV

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It's the 70th anniversary of the first Major League Baseball game to be broadcast on television. The double-header between the Cincinnati Reds and the Brooklyn Dodgers at Ebbets Field aired on experimental station W2XBS, which is now WNBC-TV. It's estimated that 3,000 people watched the game on TV.


And let's talk about an enormous number of television viewers. That's our last word in business today. It's the 70th anniversary of a major development in the business of sports, particularly sports television. On August 26th, 1939, the Brooklyn Dodgers hosted the Cincinnati Reds. There were 33,000 people at Ebbets Field in Brooklyn. But that wasn't the whole audience, though, because another 3,000 fans, according to one estimate.

Remember, these were the days before Nielsen ratings. Three thousand people squinted into black-and-white TV screens to watch the first televised Major League Baseball game, broadcast by an experimental NBC station.

The Reds won the opening game of the doubleheader, 5-2. The Dodgers came back to take the second game 6-1.

And that's the business news on MORNING EDITION from NPR News.

I'm Steve Inskeep.


And I'm Renee Montagne.

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