Football Fans Fantasy

vintage ad football payers watching TV in the stadium

In a world where you can watch  800 channels of television shows not only on your flat screen TV but on your laptop, iPad, or iPhone, choose between a soccer match in South Africa or football in Florida, it’s hard to imagine a time when getting a sports program from Jacksonville, Florida to your TV set in Wilmington North Carolina was newsworthy.

But as this 1951 advertisement from General Electric shows, it was nothing short of a miracle.

Vintage ad GE Television 1951 Football Fantasy

A Football Fans Fantasy! GE television overpowers interference and distance!
Vintage 1951 ad- General Electric Black-Daylite Television

Poor Warren Bell.!

The president of Tidewater Power Company pictured in the ad above was  seemingly out of luck if he wanted to catch a regional football game from Charlotte or Jacksonville in the comfort of his Wilmington wood-paneled den.

After all, Wilmington, North Carolina was 350 miles from Jacksonville, 210 from Norfolk and 180 miles from Charlotte. One look at the map and you’d think Mr. Bell would be out of the TV picture.

That is until he got a GE Black-Daylite Television. Now we learn, our well-heeled, corporate fat cat gets all 3 stations with ease on his GE set.

Football Fans -Put Your Confidence in General Electric

“Reports from remote spots all over the country testify to the quality and pulling power of G-E Black-Daylite television,” the ad informs us.

“Many a happy owner points with pride to the picture he gets on his G-E-even in spots where good reception was considered impossible. And right in the heart of the throbbing cities where tall buildings stand in the way-G-E overpowers interference and shows up best.”

Lucky Warren can sit back, relax in his suit and tie and watch his favorite college game. “It’s so real it’s like a seat in the stadium,” boasts the ad. And thanks to the larger than life 20 inch screen, our buttoned-up businessman could “roar with the crowd! Sway to the band! And watch from the edge of your chair!”

Postscript . By the end of the year on December 23, 1951 Du Mont televised the first ever live coast to coast professional football game the NFL Championship game between the LA Rams and Cleveland Browns thanks to the transcontinental  cable lines that had been set up earlier that fall.

© Sally Edelstein and Envisioning The American Dream, 2019.



  1. Along the lines of America’s utter obsession and fanaticism for the 3 major sports, especially football, now that there are 800+ viewing channels, WiFi streaming just about anywhere on the planet, and of course the electrical power or battery power to watch and listen to the U.S.’s greatest game, if you can’t be at the stadium… WHAT are Americans actually watching or listening to on their TVs or devices?

    According to a 2010 Wall Street Journal Study as reported second-hand by

    Anyone who has ever tuned into an NFL broadcast knows that plenty of air time is spent showing players huddling, coaches yelling, and fans cheering. That’s because while the on-field action can be exciting, it’s usually short-lived. In fact, according to a 2010 Wall Street Journal study of four football broadcasts, the ball was only in play for an average of 10 minutes and 43 seconds — approximately 4 seconds per play — even though an NFL telecast lasts about three hours.

    [Commercials] demand about an hour of airtime. Replays take about 17 minutes, footage of cheerleaders command about 3 seconds, and shots of players standing around make up an average of 67 minutes, according to WSJ. Despite this minimal action, football viewership is in the millions. According to Fortune, more than 111 million people tuned in to the 2017 Super Bowl.

    11-mins of actual playing time for 3.0 – 3.5 hours of TV/device viewing!!! 😮 And I noticed this NFL season they are implementing MORE video-reviews of infractions and no-calls! HAH!!! Wow, I know there are several/many mega-corporations that are raking in the millions and billions for the attentions of NFL fan’s for 3-hours, barring the 11-12 mins of actual football playing!!! 🤣

    Liked by 1 person

    • My husband has for years always recorded football games watching them later so he speeds through all the superfluous time. The whole game takes up about 45 minutes vs wasting an entire afternoon.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yep. And yet the NFL — along with 2-3 more N. American sports leagues — is the largest wealthiest sports league in the world. Truth be known, that wealth is STILL primarily amongst a very small percentage of men… mostly Caucasian men. Hmmm, riddle me that. 🤔


  2. I chose not to watch it. A sixty minute game shouldn’t last over three hours! I have better things to do with my time.

    Liked by 2 people

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