Just a few days ago some 9 million people in this country alone watched the women's hockey final in the Olympic Games. What a contrast to the 22nd August 1964 when a mere twenty thousand watched the BBC's first Match of the Day between Liverpool and Arsenal.
(For the non cognoscenti that was a football [soccer] game.)
The match was played at Anfield, Liverpool's home ground, and was won 3-2 by Liverpool.
This was, apparently, a trial run by the BBC in preparation for their coverage of the 1966 World Cup.The programme was aired during the evening on BBC2, a channel broadcast only in London and that could be watched only on the new-fangled 625 line television sets. three years later, despite moves by several football clubs to prevent it, the programme was moved to BBC1.
Match of the Day is now recognised as the longest-running football television programme in the world.