Photo taken after first live televised football match between Arsenal and their reserve team in 1937

Copyright AFP 2017-2021. All rights reserved.

A photo has been shared in multiple posts on Instagram and Facebook alongside a claim that the first televised football match was between Arsenal and Everton in 1937. The claim is misleading. The photo was taken after a match between Arsenal and their reserve team in 1937, which is recognised as the world’s first live televised football match.

The monochrome photo was posted here on Instagram on April 23, 2021. It has attracted more than 6,500 likes. 

Screenshot of the misleading post, taken on April 27 2021

Translated to English, the Indonesian-language text underneath the photo says: “Do you know? The Arsenal vs Everton game in 1937 was the first televised football match.” 

Arsenal and Everton are English professional football clubs. 

The same photo has been liked more than 7,200 times after it was shared with a similar claim on Instagram here and here, and on Facebook here and here

A different photo has appeared with the same claim in multiple Facebook posts, including here, here and here.

Screenshot of the second misleading post, taken on April 28, 2021

The claim is, however, misleading.

Team photo

A reverse image search on Google, followed by a keyword search, found the first photo was published on the website for Getty Images here

The photo, dated September 16, 1937, is captioned: “Arsenal Football team peering into a camera at Highbury after playing in the first football match to be filmed live on television, Arsenal vs Arsenal Reserves.”

Below is a screenshot comparison between the photo in the misleading posts (L)  and the photo on Getty Images’ website (R):

Screenshot comparison between the first misleading photo (L) and the Getty Images photo (R)

The photo also appears in this Guardian article, published on September 16, 2015, to celebrate the 78th anniversary of the event. 

American football

A reverse image search and a keyword search on Google found the second photo was published by the Associated Press here. It depicts the first televised American football game in 1939. 

The photo’s caption reads: “A television camera covers the season's opener between Fordham University and Waynesburg College during National Broadcasting Company's first telecast football game in history, at Triborough Stadium on Randall's Island in New York, on September 30, 1939.”

The photo was also published by The Wall Street Journal here on September 30, 2014, to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the event.

Below is a screenshot comparison between the second misleading photo (L) and the Associated Press photo (R):

Screenshot comparison between the second misleading photo (L) and the Associated Press photo (R)