Difference between revisions of "Indianapolis 500 WFBM-TV Broadcasts (lost racing footage; 1949-1950)"

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It is often thought by auto racing fans that the first television broadcast of the Indianapolis 500 was in 1965 when ABC aired highlights on their ''Wide World of Sports'' program. However, the '''first broadcast was actually 16 years earlier by WFBM-TV''' (now WRTV) in the Indianapolis, Indiana area.
It is often thought by auto racing fans that the first television broadcast of the Indianapolis 500 was in 1965 when ABC aired highlights on their ''Wide World of Sports'' program. However, the first broadcast was actually 16 years earlier by WFBM-TV (now WRTV) in the Indianapolis, Indiana area.
 
  
 
==Broadcasts==
 
==Broadcasts==
 
In 1949, WFBM-TV began to broadcast in Indianapolis. Their first broadcast was a documentary about the Indianapolis 500 titled ''Crucible of Speed''. The documentary was followed by a live broadcast of the 1949 Indianapolis 500. There were three cameras placed along the main straightaway of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Former radio announcer Earl Townsend, Jr. served as the lead announcer, Dick Pittenger and Paul Roberts served as color commentators and Robert Robbins was the pit reporter.
 
In 1949, WFBM-TV began to broadcast in Indianapolis. Their first broadcast was a documentary about the Indianapolis 500 titled ''Crucible of Speed''. The documentary was followed by a live broadcast of the 1949 Indianapolis 500. There were three cameras placed along the main straightaway of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Former radio announcer Earl Townsend, Jr. served as the lead announcer, Dick Pittenger and Paul Roberts served as color commentators and Robert Robbins was the pit reporter.
  
The 1950 race was broadcast also with the same announcing team, with the exception of Robbins, who was replaced by Roberts as pit reporter.
+
The 1950 race was broadcast also with the same announcing team, with the exception of Robbins, who was replaced by Roberts as a pit reporter.
  
Each year, the broadcast reached about 3,000 households. Speedway officials decided to stop the broadcasts because they feared that they would reduce attendance. It should be noted that even after ABC began broadcasting the race, they did not air it live until 1986 and there was a local blackout that was maintained until 2016.
+
Each year, the broadcast reached about 3,000 households. Speedway officials decided to stop the broadcasts because they feared that they would reduce attendance. It should be noted that even after ABC began broadcasting the race, they did not air it live until 1986 and there was a local blackout that was maintained until 2016.<ref>https://www.sportingnews.com/us/nascar/news/indianapolis-500-lifts-local-broadcast-blackout/z89z8oasgix21xwzvipzlq3m9</ref><ref>http://www.theindychannel.com/sports/indycar/road-to-100/blackout-lifted-rtv6-to-show-indianapolis-500-live-on-race-day</ref><ref>http://www.adweek.com/tvspy/wrtv-to-air-indy-500-live-after-blackout-lifted/171126</ref>
  
 
==Preservation==
 
==Preservation==
No footage of the race from either race has surfaced. Since they were live, they were not recorded by the station, like most live broadcasts of the time. Additionally, viewers would have had no way of recording the race from their television, making these broadcasts lost forever.
+
No footage of the race from either race has surfaced. Since they were living, they were not recorded by the station, like most live broadcasts of the time. Additionally, viewers would have had no way of recording the race from their television, making these broadcasts lost forever.
  
 
==Gallery==
 
==Gallery==
Line 24: Line 23:
 
WFBM Indianapolis 500.jpg|Screenshot of the broadcast, from an article in the ''Indianapolis Star''.
 
WFBM Indianapolis 500.jpg|Screenshot of the broadcast, from an article in the ''Indianapolis Star''.
 
</gallery>
 
</gallery>
 
 
==Video==
 
==Video==
 
{{#ev:archiveorg|CrucibleOfSpeed1946Indianapolis500.mp4|480x360|center|''Crucible of Speed'' documentary|frame}}
 
{{#ev:archiveorg|CrucibleOfSpeed1946Indianapolis500.mp4|480x360|center|''Crucible of Speed'' documentary|frame}}
 +
 +
==See Also==
 +
===IndyCar Media===
 +
*[[1962 Trenton 100 (lost footage of USAC Championship Car Season race; 1962)]]
 +
*[[1962 Trenton 200 (lost footage of USAC Championship Car Season race; 1962)]]
 +
*[[1963 Trenton 100 (partially found footage of USAC Championship Car Season race; 1963)]]
 +
*[[1963 Trenton 200 (lost footage of USAC Championship Car Season race; 1963)]]
 +
*[[1964 Golden State 100 (lost footage of USAC Championship Car Season race; 1964)]]
 +
*[[1964 Trenton 100 (lost footage of USAC Championship Car Season race; 1964)]]
 +
*[[1965 Golden State 100 (lost footage of USAC Championship Car Season race; 1965)]]
 +
*[[1965 Jimmy Bryan Memorial (lost footage of USAC Championship Car Season race; 1965)]]
 +
*[[1966 Jimmy Bryan Memorial (lost footage of USAC Championship Car Season race; 1966)]]
 +
*[[1966 Trenton 150 (partially found footage of USAC Championship Car Season race; 1966)]]
 +
*[[1967 Trenton 150 (lost footage of USAC Championship Car Season race; 1967)]]
 +
*[[1968 Tony Bettenhausen 100 (lost footage of USAC Championship Car Season race; 1968)]]
 +
*[[1968 Trenton 150 (lost footage of USAC Championship Car Season race; 1968)]]
 +
*[[1969 Langhorne 150 (lost footage of USAC Championship Car Season race; 1969)]]
 +
*[[1969 Rex Mays Classic (lost footage of USAC Championship Car Season race; 1969)]]
 +
*[[1969 Trenton 200 (lost footage of USAC Championship Car Season race; 1969)]]
 +
*[[1970 Bobby Ball 150 (lost footage of USAC Championship Car Season race; 1970)]]
 +
*[[1970 Jimmy Bryan 150 (partially lost footage of USAC Championship Car Season race; 1970)]]
 +
*[[1970 Langhorne 150 (lost footage of USAC Championship Car Season race; 1970)]]
 +
*[[1970 Rex Mays Classic (lost footage of USAC Championship Car Season race; 1970)]]
 +
*[[1970 Rocky Mountain 150 (partially found footage of USAC Championship Car Season race; 1970)‎]]
 +
*[[1970 Trenton 200 (lost footage of USAC Championship Car Season race; 1970)]]
 +
*[[1971 Bobby Ball 150 (lost footage of USAC Championship Car Season race; 1971)]]
 +
*[[1971 Jimmy Bryan 150 (partially found footage of USAC Championship Car Season race; 1971)]]
 +
*[[1971 Marlboro 300 (lost footage of USAC Championship Car Season race; 1971)]]
 +
*[[1971 Michigan 200 (lost footage of USAC Championship Car Season race; 1971)]]
 +
*[[1971 Rex Mays Classic (partially found footage of USAC Championship Car Season race; 1971)]]
 +
*[[1971 Schaefer 500 (partially found footage of USAC Championship Car Season race; 1971)]]
 +
*[[1971 Trentonian 200 (lost footage of USAC Championship Car Season race; 1971)]]
 +
*[[1972 Best Western Motels 150 (lost footage of USAC Championship Car Season race; 1972)]]
 +
*[[1972 Indianapolis 500 (partially found footage of USAC Championship Car Season race; 1972)]]
 +
*[[1972 Phoenix 150 (partially found footage of USAC Championship Car Season race; 1972)]]
 +
*[[1972 Rex Mays Classic (partially found footage of USAC Championship Car Season race; 1972)]]
 +
*[[1972 Tony Bettenhausen 200 (lost footage of USAC Championship Car Season race; 1972)]]
 +
*[[1972 Trenton Times 300 (lost footage of USAC Championship Car Season race; 1972)]]
 +
*[[1972 Trentonian 200 (lost footage of USAC Championship Car Season race; 1972)]]
 +
*[[1973 Schaefer 500 (partially found footage of USAC Championship Car Season race; 1973)]]
 +
*[[1973 Texas 200 (partially found footage of USAC Championship Car Season race; 1973)]]
 +
*[[1974 Phoenix 150 (partially found footage of USAC Championship Car Season race; 1974)]]
 +
*[[1974 Schaefer 500 (lost footage of USAC Championship Car Season race; 1974)]]
 +
*[[1974 Trentonian 200 (partially found footage of USAC Championship Car Season race; 1974)]]
 +
*[[1975 Bricklin 150 (lost footage of USAC Championship Car Season race; 1975)]]
 +
*[[1975 Michigan 150 (lost footage of USAC Championship Car Season race; 1975)]]
 +
*[[1975 Trentonian 200 (lost footage of USAC Championship Car Season race; 1975)]]
 +
*[[1976 Indianapolis 500 (partially found footage of USAC Championship Car Season race; 1976)]]
 +
*[[1976 Jimmy Bryan 150 (lost footage of USAC Championship Car Season race; 1976)]]
 +
*[[1976 Michigan 150 (lost footage of USAC Championship Car Season race; 1976)]]
 +
*[[1976 Schaefer 500 (lost footage of USAC Championship Car Season race; 1976)]]
 +
*[[1976 Trenton Times Auto Classic (lost footage of USAC Championship Car Season race; 1976)]]
 +
*[[1976 Trentonian 200 (lost footage of USAC Championship Car Season race; 1976)]]
 +
*[[1977 American Parts 200 (lost footage of USAC Championship Car Season race; 1977)]]
 +
*[[1977 Jimmy Bryan 150 (lost footage of USAC Championship Car Season race; 1977)]]
 +
*[[1977 Michigan Grand Prix (lost footage of USAC Championship Car Season race; 1977)]]
 +
*[[1977 Rex Mays Classic (lost footage of USAC Championship Car Season race; 1977)]]
 +
*[[1977 Schaefer 500 (lost footage of USAC Championship Car Season race; 1977)]]
 +
*[[1977 Texas Grand Prix (lost footage of USAC Championship Car Season race; 1977)]]
 +
*[[1977 Trentonian 200 (lost footage of USAC Championship Car Season race; 1977)]]
 +
*[[1978 Coors 200 (lost footage of USAC Championship Car Season race; 1978)]]
 +
*[[1978 Daily Express Indy Silverstone (lost footage of USAC Championship Car Season race; 1978)]]
 +
*[[1978 Daily Mail Indy Trophy (partially found CBS and BBC One footage of USAC Championship Car Season race; 1978)]]
 +
*[[1978 Norton Twin 200 (lost footage of USAC Championship Car Season race; 1978)]]
 +
*[[1979 Arizona Republic / Jimmy Bryan 150 (partially found footage of SCCA/CART IndyCar Series race; 1979)]]
 +
*[[1979 California 500 (lost footage of SCCA/CART IndyCar Series race; existence unconfirmed; 1979)]]
 +
*[[1979 Gould Grand Prix (lost footage of SCCA/CART IndyCar Series race; 1979)]]
 +
*[[1980 Miller High Life 150 (partially found footage of CART PPG IndyCar World Series race; 1980)]]
 +
*[[1980 Norton Twin 200 (lost footage of CART PPG IndyCar World Series race; 1980)]]
 +
*[[1980 Primera Copa Mexico 150 (lost footage of CART PPG IndyCar World Series race; 1980)]]
 +
*[[1980 Tony Bettenhausen 200 (lost footage of CART PPG IndyCar World Series race; 1980)]]
 +
*[[1981 Kraco Car Stereo 150 (lost CART PPG IndyCar World Series race; 1981)]]
 +
*[[1981 Pocono 500 (lost footage of USAC Championship Car Season race; 1981)]]
 +
*[[1996 Las Vegas 500K (partially lost footage of IRL Season race; 1996)]]
 +
*[[Indianapolis 500 MCA closed-circuit broadcasts (partially lost racing footage; 1964-1970)]]
 +
 +
===Early Sports Television Media===
 +
*[[1934 Philo T. Farnsworth broadcasts (lost early television demonstrations; 1934)]]
 +
*[[1936 Summer Olympics (lost television coverage of Berlin Games; 1936)]]
 +
*[[1938 Pennsylvania Quakers football season (lost early televised college football games; 1938)]]
 +
*[[1960 Daytona Races (lost CBS and NBC televised footage of NASCAR prelude events to Daytona 500; 1960)]]
 +
*[[Bill Longson vs Whipper Billy Watson (lost footage of professional wrestling match; 1947)]]
 +
*[[Brooklyn Dodgers 2-5 6-1 Cincinnati Reds (lost footage of MLB doubleheader; 1939)]]
 +
*[[Brooklyn Dodgers 23-14 Philadelphia Eagles (lost footage of NFL game; 1939)]]
 +
*[[Columbia Lions 1-2 Princeton Tigers (partially found footage of college baseball game; 1939)]]
 +
*[[Fordham Rams 34-7 Waynesburg Yellow Jackets (lost footage of college football game; 1939)]]
 +
 +
===Early BBC Sports Television===
 +
*[[1931 Epsom Derby (lost televised footage of horse racing event; 1931)]]
 +
*[[1937 FA Cup Final (partially found footage of football match; 1937)]]
 +
*[[1937 International Imperial Trophy Race (lost footage of motor race; 1937)]]
 +
*[[1937 Wimbledon Championships (partially found footage of tennis tournament; 1937)]]
 +
*[[1938 Ashes Series (partially found footage of international test cricket match; 1938)]]
 +
*[[1938 FA Cup Final (partially found footage of football match; 1938)]]
 +
*[[1939 FA Cup Final (partially found footage of football match; 1939)]]
 +
*[[1947 FA Cup Final (partially found footage of football match; 1947)]]
 +
*[[1953 British Grand Prix (partially found footage of Formula One race; 1953)]]
 +
*[[1955 Scottish Cup Final (partially found footage of football match; 1955)]]
 +
*[[Archery (lost early televised toxophily; 1937-1938)]]
 +
*[[Arsenal 7-1 Hibernian (lost footage of charity football match; 1952)]]
 +
*[[Arsenal vs Arsenal Reserves (lost footage of early BBC televised football match; 1937)]]
 +
*[[Barnet 3-2 Wealdstone (lost footage of Athenian League football match; 1946)]]
 +
*[[The Boat Race 1938 (partially found footage of rowing race; 1938)]]
 +
*[[Catch-As-Catch-Can Wrestling (lost early BBC televised professional wrestling matches; 1938-1939; 1946-1947)]]
 +
*[[Charlton Athletic 1-0 Blackburn Rovers (lost footage of FA Cup match; 1947)]]
 +
*[[Darts and Shove Ha'penny (lost early BBC televised darts matches; 1936-1939)]]
 +
*[[England 0-1 Scotland (partially found international football match; 1938)]]
 +
*[[England 1-1 Scotland (partially found footage of international football match; 1947)]]
 +
*[[England 16-21 Scotland (partially found footage of rugby match; 1938)]]
 +
*[[England 3-0 France (partially found footage of international football match; 1947)]]
 +
*[[England 3-0 Rest of Europe (partially found footage of international football match; 1938)]]
 +
*[[Falkirk 3-2 Newcastle United (lost footage of football match; 1953)]]
 +
*[[Horace Lindrum vs Willie Smith (lost footage of televised snooker; 1937)]]
 +
*[[Scottish Universities 1-1 English Universities (lost footage of international football match; 1952)]]
 +
*[[Woods and Jack (lost early televised lawn bowls; 1937; 1946)]]
  
 
==External Links==
 
==External Links==
*[http://img4.hostingpics.net/pics/937406speedwaybroadcast1949a.jpg ''Indianapolis Star'' article describing the test broadcast and what the actual broadcast would be like]
+
*[http://img4.hostingpics.net/pics/937406speedwaybroadcast1949a.jpg ''Indianapolis Star'' article describing the test broadcast and what the actual broadcast would be like.] Retrieved 14 Mar '17
 +
*https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WRTV#Sports_programming
 +
*https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indianapolis_500#Broadcasting
 +
 
 +
==References==
 +
{{reflist}}
  
 
[[Category:Lost recordings of real incidents]]
 
[[Category:Lost recordings of real incidents]]
 
[[Category:Lost TV]]
 
[[Category:Lost TV]]
 +
[[Category:Completely lost media]]
 +
[[Category:Historic]]

Latest revision as of 13:45, 4 July 2022

WFBM500colorL.jpg

WFBM-TV camera at the Indianapolis 500.

Status: Lost

It is often thought by auto racing fans that the first television broadcast of the Indianapolis 500 was in 1965 when ABC aired highlights on their Wide World of Sports program. However, the first broadcast was actually 16 years earlier by WFBM-TV (now WRTV) in the Indianapolis, Indiana area.

Broadcasts[edit | edit source]

In 1949, WFBM-TV began to broadcast in Indianapolis. Their first broadcast was a documentary about the Indianapolis 500 titled Crucible of Speed. The documentary was followed by a live broadcast of the 1949 Indianapolis 500. There were three cameras placed along the main straightaway of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Former radio announcer Earl Townsend, Jr. served as the lead announcer, Dick Pittenger and Paul Roberts served as color commentators and Robert Robbins was the pit reporter.

The 1950 race was broadcast also with the same announcing team, with the exception of Robbins, who was replaced by Roberts as a pit reporter.

Each year, the broadcast reached about 3,000 households. Speedway officials decided to stop the broadcasts because they feared that they would reduce attendance. It should be noted that even after ABC began broadcasting the race, they did not air it live until 1986 and there was a local blackout that was maintained until 2016.[1][2][3]

Preservation[edit | edit source]

No footage of the race from either race has surfaced. Since they were living, they were not recorded by the station, like most live broadcasts of the time. Additionally, viewers would have had no way of recording the race from their television, making these broadcasts lost forever.

Gallery[edit | edit source]

Video[edit | edit source]

Crucible of Speed documentary

See Also[edit | edit source]

IndyCar Media[edit | edit source]

Early Sports Television Media[edit | edit source]

Early BBC Sports Television[edit | edit source]

External Links[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]