Since the 1972 chess championship was televised I imagine there must be full footage of all the matches somewhere. I have spent time looking around, but found nothing but short clips of the games. Does anybody know if and where this footage might exist?
The Holy Grail of chess match footage! This question has been asked before on Reddit, on Chess.com and probably on many other websites and no one has come up with an answer.
There are many sources that claim that Chester Fox, an american businessman, had procured the filming rights for the match. According to an unsigned article on mark-weeks.com, "Fox sold the rights to the American television company ABC for 100.000 US$", apparently after the eighth game.
Another source of footage is Shelby Lyman's series of television programmes for PBS (Public Broadcasting Service). See, for example, The man behind the Fischer-Spassky show by Rudy Chelminski (Chessbase.com, 2003). It is not clear to me where he got his images (unless the programmes didn't use any footage that was shot during the games).
An article by Edward Winter about the match also contains a pointer to some coverage in the archives of AP (Associated Press), but these are mostly short news items and some footage from outside the playing hall.
So my best guess is that the footage is in the vaults of ABC and PBS.