After watching an entire season of football and all the instant replays that go along with them I began to wonder when all the non-sense began. Doing some research I found out the first televised use of instant replay was during the December 7th, 1963 Army-Navy game.

Oddly enough this game was originally to be played on November 30th but because of President Kennedy’s assassination on November 22nd the game was rescheduled. Kennedy was a huge fan of the Army-Navy game attending the two previous years as the the official pre-game coin tosser.

So the first ever replay to be broadcast was Army’s Quarterback, Rollie Stichweh’s touchdown in the forth quarter of their 21-15 loss, which he faked a hand-off and ran off-tackle for the score. Announcer Lindsey Nelson fearing the viewers wouldn’t realize it was a replay stated, “Ladies and gentlemen, Army did not score again!” The run was played back at full speed.

Unfortunately the tape of the original replay has been lost and will never be able to be replayed again but I did find some footage from that game to give you an idea of the footage that was taken during that time period.

It was replayed at the original speed, with commentator Lindsey Nelson advising viewers “Ladies and gentlemen, Army did not score again!

UPDATE: Watching the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics I heard mention that instant replay was “invented” by CBS during the 1960 Winter Games in Squaw Valley:

On the slopes, two skiers came westward from Hanover: Tom Corcoran ‘54 and Chick Igaya ‘57. Corcoran placed ninth in the slalom event, a race which is believed to be the origin of instant replay when CBS producers were asked for a tape of the race by officials, to settle an argument.

This was use by officials to determine the winner of the race and was not used during a broadcast. The Army-Navy game was the first use of instant replay viewable by the audience whereas the Squaw Valley use was the first known use for officiating.


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  • Tony Verna says:

    I am commenting on the false info and lack of research on this site.

    Here are the facts: A 1950s episode of Hockey Night in Canada (HNIC) used a wet-film-replay, minutes later. On live television, CBS director Tony Verna invented a system to enable a standard videotape machine to instantly replay on 7 December 1963, for the network's coverage of the Army–Navy Game.[1] After technical hitches, the only replay broadcast was Rollie Stichweh's winning touchdown. It was replayed at the original speed, with commentator Lindsey Nelson advising viewers "Ladies and gentlemen, Army did not score again!"[1] Slow motion replay was initiated a few years later by ABC.[1] Replay from analog disk storage was trialled by CBS in 1965, and commercialized in 1967 by the Ampex HS-100, which had a 30-second capacity and freeze frame capability.[2] TONY VERNA “The Man Who Invented Instant Replay." ISBN-13: 978-0-9779131-4-5 PLEASE CORRECT YOUR COPY

    cc: Weissmann Wolff attorneys.

    TONY VERNA “The Man Who Invented the Instant Replay” Television Producer/Director, Author, Inventor Born Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. In his conversational autobiography, “Instant Replay the day that changed sports forever”   Tony Verna is more than “The Man Who Invented Instant Replay.” Before he received the Directors Guild of America’s “Lifetime Achievement Award” in 1995, he’d directed five Super Bowls and twelve Kentucky Derbies. He traveled to Mexico to direct their Soccer Championship and to direct their national rodeo, The Charreada. Then off to France, to direct the Grand Prix for Mexican Network. He was in Russia to direct The Mike Douglas Show live from Moscow, in London to direct the “World Circus,” in Las Vegas to become President of Caesar’s Palace Productions, in Ronald Reagan’s home to direct an interview with the President, in the White House to film President George H.W. Bush. In 1985 Verna filmed a “Christmas Special” with Mother Teresa. That same year he co-produced and co-directed “Live Aid,” Bob Geldof’s 16- hour fund-raiser for Africa, seen by 1.5 billion people worldwide. He then created an international program for Pope John Paul II entitled “Prayer for World Peace.” Over a billion people, breaking the record for the most viewers to witness a television program, saw the live telecast, which he also produced and directed. In 1987 Omni Magazine chose Verna as one of the “14 Great Minds” to predict the future. In 1990 he was the executive producer/director for Ted Turner’s Goodwill Games. Also in 2006 The Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Foundation videotaped a five-hour interview with Verna, recapping his career, an interview which can be accessed at their website.

    Verna has written five books: Playback, Live TV, Global Television Instant Replay the day that changed sports forever 

     For more information about Tony Verna, visit http://www.tonyvernaTV.com