Wednesday is the 100th anniversary of the nation’s first radio show, heard on what would become WTAW – WTAW
Wednesday, November 24, 2021 marks the 100th anniversary of the first play by play broadcast in the United States.
The Texas A&M-Texas football game was broadcast on campus wireless station 5XB, which would become WTAW the following year.
These appeal letters always mean “Watch The Aggies Win!” As the flagship of the Texas A&M radio network.
Ben Downs, Vice President and General Manager of WTAW / Bryan Broadcasting, says: “While a lot has changed in 100 years, we are proud that one thing remains the same. You can still hear all of Aggie’s football games on the station that premiered all those years ago. Here is another 100 years of “Watching The Aggies Win”.
The transmission lines for the 1921 Thanksgiving Day game were connected to the Kyle Field press box about half a mile to the station inside the Texas A&M electrical engineering building.
The only radio equipment in the press gallery was a key for transmission and a pair of headphones for reception.
Licensed radio amateurs used a modified telegraph code to transmit information. A list of abbreviations has been developed to convey the action. For example, “TB A 45 Y” is “Texas ball on the Aggies 45 yard line”.
On the reception side at the University of Texas, slips of paper with the abbreviations received were passed on a long table to someone who relayed the decoded information to a horn speaker through an open window .
The result of the first game heard on the radio was a scoreless tie.
And WTAW celebrates its centenary in 2022.