April 30 – In the United States, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approves the National Television System Committee (NTSC) standards of 525 lines and 30 frames per second, and authorizes commercial television broadcasting to begin on July 1.
NBC television begins commercial operation by its affiliate WNBT New York using channel 1. The world's first legal television commercial advertisement, for Bulova watches, airs at 2:29 PM on WNBT before a baseball game between the Brooklyn Dodgers and Philadelphia Phillies. An announcement for Bulova watches, for which the company pays anywhere from $4.00 to $9.00 (reports vary), displays a WNBT test pattern modified to look like a clock with the hands showing the time, and the Bulova logo, with the phrase "Bulova Watch Time" shown in the lower right-hand quadrant of the test pattern while the second hand sweeps around the dial for one minute  On July 1, Ray Forrest reads the first formal on-camera TV announcement, followed on July 4 by the first live commercial, for Adam Hats.
As a one-off special, the first quiz show called "Uncle Bee" is telecast on WNBT's inaugural broadcast day, followed later the same day by Ralph Edwards hosting the second game show broadcast on United States television, Truth or Consequences, as simulcast by radio and TV and sponsored by Ivory soap. Weekly broadcasts of the show commence during 1956, with Bob Barker.