Events::1938 in television


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  • February 21 – The BBC One broadcasts the first ever television science-fiction, a 35-minute adaptation of a segment of the play R.U.R. by the Czech playwright Karel Čapek.
  • March 12 – First news bulletin aired by BBC television, in sound only. Previously, the service had broadcast British Movietone News cinema newsreels.
  • April 1 – The Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race is first televised by the BBC.
  • April 19 – The first televised football (soccer) match, England vs. Scotland, shown by the BBC.
  • April 23 – The FA Cup Final is televised for the first time by the BBC.
  • May 12 – W2XBS telecasts the 1937 film Return of the Scarlet Pimpernel. The staff projectionist accidentally played the last reel out of order, ending the film 20 minutes early. NBC was unable to obtain the rights to first run movies for many years to follow.
  • May 14 – The first quiz show, Spelling Bee, is televised by the BBC.
  • May – Communicating Systems, Inc. of New York introduces the first electronic television sets available to the general public in the U.S. Model with {{safesubst:#invoke:convert|convert}} tube is $125–$150, 5-inch tube is $195–$250. Image only; sound apparatus is $15 more. Sets become available in department stores in June.
  • June – DuMont, an electronics company, introduces television sets in the US, receiving both pictures and sound. $650 for a 10 by 8-in. screen, $395 for 8¼ by 6½ in.
  • June 24 – Test Match Cricket is broadcast for the first time by the BBC, with coverage of the second test of The Ashes series between England and the Australian team, live from Lord's Cricket Ground.
  • September 29 – License for W9XAT Minneapolis, Minnesota, granted in 1929, expires. Television doesn't exist in the area again for a decade.
  • October 26 – The first televised ice hockey match, Harringay Racers vs. Streatham Redskins, shown by the BBC.
  • November - Due to freak atmospheric conditions, a BBC TV broadcast is received in New York City. A film camera is used to record the silent images which included the performance of a play, a cartoon, and other matter. A four-minute excerpt from this filmed recording survives and is, as of 2014, considered the only surviving example of a pre-war BBC television transmission.[1]
  • November 12 – NBC's W2XBT broadcasts what was the first telecast of an unscheduled event, a fire on Wards Island near Manhattan.
  • John Logie Baird gives the world's first public demonstration of a colour television broadcast (previous demonstrations of colour television in the UK and US had been via closed circuit). The 120-line image is projected at the Dominion Theatre, London on a 12 by 9 feet (3.7 by 2.7 m) screen in front of an audience of 3,000 people.
  • December 12 – Start of daily television broadcasting in Moscow (USSR).
  • December 31 – 9,315 television sets have been sold in England.

1938 in television sections
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