• WTAW/College Station, TX Celebrates 100th Anniversary Of What It Says Was First Play-By-Play Radio Broadcast

    November 23, 2021 at 12:06 PM (PT)
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    First?

    There are multiple contenders for the honor of first radio play-by-play broadcast, but BRYAN BROADCASTING News-Talk WTAW-A/COLLEGE STATION, TX believes that it deserves the title for its THANKSGIVING DAY broadcast of the TEXAS A&M-TEXAS football game on NOVEMBER 24, 1921, 100 years ago WEDNESDAY, aired on 5XB, the experimental license that became WTAW. That broadcast was sent via telegraph code from the KYLE FIELD press box; at 5XU at the UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS, the code was translated and handed to an announcer who told onlookers what was happening through a horn speaker out the window.

    VP/GM BEN DOWNS said, “While a lot has changed in 100 years, we’re proud that one thing remains the same. You can still hear every AGGIE football game on the station that broadcast the first one all those years ago. Here’s to another 100 years of ‘Watching The AGGIES Win.’"

    The date of the first football broadcast by 5XB has appeared, variously, as 1919, 1920, and 1921; Telegraph code relays to live scoreboard displays date further back, and a WESLEYAN-NYU game was relayed from NEW YORK to CONNECTICUT via wireless in 1919. As for other sports, KDKA-A/PITTSBURGH aired a boxing match in APRIL 1921 and HAROLD ARLIN famously called a PIRATES-PHILLIES game that AUGUST, followed in OCTOBER with play-by-play of PITT-WEST VIRGINIA college football.

    The original WTAW license is now Sports KZNE-A, while WTAW's calls moved to expanded band 1620 AM in a format swap in 2000.

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