April 23 – The FA Cup Final is televised for the first time by the BBC.
May 12 – W2XBS telecasts the 1937 film Return of the Scarlet Pimpernel. The staff projectionist accidentally plays the last reel out of order, ending the film 20 minutes early. NBC is unable to obtain the rights to first run movies for many years to follow.
May 14 – The first quiz show, Spelling Bee, is televised by the BBC.
May – Communicating Systems, Inc. of New York introduces the first electronic television sets available to the general public in the U.S. Model with 3-inch (76 mm) tube is $125–$150, 5-inch tube is $195–$250. Image only; sound apparatus is $15 more. Sets become available in department stores in June.
June – DuMont, an electronics company, introduces television sets in the US, receiving both pictures and sound. $650 for a 10 by 8-in. screen, $395 for 8¼ by 6½ in.
November - Due to freak atmospheric conditions, a BBC TV broadcast is received in New York City. A film camera is used to record the silent images which included the performance of a play, a cartoon, and other matter. A four-minute excerpt from this filmed recording survives and is, as of 2014, considered the only surviving example of a pre-war BBC television transmission.
NBC's W2XBT broadcasts what is the first telecast of an unscheduled event, a fire on Wards Island near Manhattan.
John Logie Baird gives the world's first public demonstration of a colour television broadcast (previous demonstrations of colour television in the UK and US had been via closed circuit). The 120-line image is projected at the Dominion Theatre, London on a 12 by 9 feet (3.7 by 2.7 m) screen in front of an audience of 3,000 people.
December 12 – Start of daily television broadcasting in Moscow (USSR).
December 31 – 9,315 television sets are sold in England.