Chapter 88

Centre-Harvard to be Broadcast by Radio

Radio broadcasts were a new technology in the era of the Centre-Harvard games of 1920-22.

The first ever scheduled broadcast occurred when KDKA, a Westinghouse Electric Company, transmitted the results of the election between Warren Harding and James Cox on November 2, 1920.

KDKA also broadcast the first ever play-by-play of a college football game when announcer Harold Arlin described the results of a game between West Virginia and Pittsburgh from Forbes Field on October 8, 1921.

The October 21, 1922 Centre-Harvard game was one of the first broadcasts of a college football game carried across a wide geographical area, with listeners able to sit in their homes and tune in. 

WGI was a station operated by individuals associated with Tufts University. A "rehearsal" at Harvard Stadium to check out the equipment to be used was held during the October 14 Harvard game with Bowdoin. When all seemed to go according to plan, WGI notified the press, and the press in turn notified the public that the Centre-Harvard game was going to broadcast by radio.

AMRAD RADIO PRODUCTS, with the headquarters and tower for WGI which broadcast the Centre-Harvard game throughout the Northeast

Centre-Harvard game on WGI's schedule from 2:30-6:00

The broadcast was well publicized at the time.

Over half a million will "listen in" as Harvard and Centre play in the Stadium Saturday. A radio report of the game, play by play, will be broadcast throughout the East, and football fans sitting in their own homes will hear of every move of the players almost at the exact instant that each play is made. The report will be sent from the press stand on top of the Stadium.

A full page banner headline in the Boston "Post" read:

                                   IF YOU CAN'T GET A FOOTBALL TICKET JUST "LISTEN IN" BY RADIO

Cartoon published the morning of the game in the Boston "Post"

            1922 ad for Amrad Radio Receivers which allowed the Centre-Harvard game to be broadcast all over New England

WHAS in Louisville, which was Kentucky's first radio station, went on the air in July, 1922, and announced that it was going to carry the game also, but its coverage was going to be a recreation by an announcer who had received the results of the action over the telegraph lines.