Saturday, August 22, 2009

22 August 1964 - A Sad Day For Football Widows

On 22 August 1964, the newly-formed BBC2 broadcast the first showing of Match of the Day. The show quickly became a mainstay of British television and popular culture.

BBC2 had been launched only four months prior and intended MOTD as a way to train the BBC's cameramen and technicians prior to England's hosting of the 1966 World Cup. The first show featured highlights of only one match--Liverpool's 3-2 defeat of Arsenal at Anfield. It was presented by Kenneth Wolstenholme and Walley Barnes.

Because BBC2's broadcasting area was restricted to London at the time, the audience for that show was approximately only 20,000. As BBC2's broadcasting area expanded, the audience quickly grew. In the 1970s, by which time the show had moved to BBC1, MOTD's audience reached 12 million.

MOTD is still airing on BBC1, hosted by former England captain Gary Lineker.

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