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Cable-Satellite Public Affairs Network (C-SPAN ) is an American cable and satellite television network that was created in 1979 by the cable television industry as a nonprofit public service. It televises many proceedings of the United States federal government, as well as other public affairs programming. The C-SPAN network includes the television channels C-SPAN (focusing on the
U.S. House of Representatives The United States House of Representatives is the lower house A lower house is one of two chambers of a bicameral legislature, the other chamber being the upper house. Despite its official position "below" the upper house, in many legis ...
), C-SPAN2 (focusing on the
U.S. Senate The United States Senate is the Upper house, upper chamber of the United States Congress, with the United States House of Representatives, House of Representatives being the Lower house, lower chamber. Together they compose the national Bica ...
), and C-SPAN3 (airing other government hearings and related programming), the radio station
WCSP-FM WCSP-FM, also known as C-SPAN Radio, is a radio Radio is the technology of signaling and telecommunication, communicating using radio waves. Radio waves are electromagnetic waves of frequency between 30 hertz (Hz) and 300 gigaher ...
, and a group of websites which provide
streaming media Streaming media is multimedia that is delivered and consumed in a continuous manner from a source, with little or no intermediate storage in network elements. ''Streaming'' refers to the delivery method of content, rather than the content its ...
and archives of C-SPAN programs. C-SPAN's television channels are available to approximately 100 million cable and satellite households within the United States, while WCSP-FM is broadcast on FM radio in
Washington, D.C. ) , image_skyline = , image_caption = Clockwise from top left: the Washington Monument The Washington Monument is an obelisk within the National Mall The National Mall is a Landscape architecture, landscaped ...
and is available throughout the U.S. on
SiriusXM Sirius XM Holdings Inc. is an American broadcasting Broadcasting is the distribution of sound, audio or video content to a dispersed audience via any electronic medium (communication), mass communications medium, but typically one using the ...
via Internet streaming, and globally through apps for
iOS iOS (formerly iPhone OS) is a mobile operating system created and developed by Apple Inc. exclusively for its hardware. It is the operating system that powers many of the company's mobile devices, including the iPhone and iPod Touch; the t ...

iOS
and
Android Android may refer to: Science and technology * Android (robot), a humanoid robot or synthetic organism designed to imitate a human * Android (operating system), Google's mobile operating system ** Android (operating system)#Mascot, Unnamed Androi ...

Android
devices. The network televises U.S. political events, particularly live and "gavel-to-gavel" coverage of the U.S. Congress. C-SPAN also televises occasional proceedings of the
Australian Australians, colloquially referred to as "Aussies", are the citizens Citizenship is a relationship between an individual and a state to which the individual owes allegiance and in turn is entitled to its protection. Each state determines ...
,
British British may refer to: Peoples, culture, and language * British people, nationals or natives of the United Kingdom, British Overseas Territories, and Crown Dependencies. ** Britishness, the British identity and common culture * British English, ...
(including the weekly
Prime Minister's Questions Prime Minister's Questions (PMQs, officially known as Questions to the Prime Minister, while colloquially known as Prime Minister's Question Time) is a constitutional convention in the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain ...
), and
Canadian Parliament The Parliament of Canada (french: Parlement du Canada) is the federal legislature A legislature is a deliberative assembly with the authority In the fields of sociology Sociology is the study of society, human social behaviour, patt ...

Canadian Parliament
s, as well as other major events worldwide. Its coverage of political and policy events is unmoderated, providing the audience with unfiltered information about politics and government. Non-political coverage includes historical programming, programs dedicated to non-fiction books, and interview programs with noteworthy individuals associated with public policy. C-SPAN is a private, nonprofit organization funded by its cable and satellite affiliates and does not solicit donations or pledges. The network operates independently, and neither the cable industry nor Congress has control of its programming content.


History


Development

Brian Lamb Brian Patrick Lamb (; born October 9, 1941) is an United States, American journalist and the founder, executive chairman, and now retired CEO of C-SPAN, an American Cable channel, cable network that provides coverage of the United States House of ...

Brian Lamb
, C-SPAN's
chairman The chairperson (also chair, chairman, or chairwoman) is the presiding officer of an organized group such as a board Board or Boards may refer to: Flat surface * Lumber, or other rigid material, milled or sawn flat ** Plank (wood) ** Cutting ...

chairman
and former
chief executive officer A chief executive officer (CEO), chief administrator officer, or just chief executive (CE), is one of a number of Corporate Executive, corporate executives in charge of managing an organization especially an independent Legal person, legal entity ...
, conceived C-SPAN in 1975 while working as the Washington, D.C., bureau chief of the cable industry trade magazine ''Cablevision''. It was a time of rapid growth in the number of cable television channels available in the United States. Lamb envisioned a cable-industry financed nonprofit network for televising sessions of the
U.S. Congress The United States Congress or U.S. Congress is the bicameral legislature of the federal government of the United States and consists of the House of Representatives and the Senate. The Congress meets in the United States Capitol in Wa ...
, other public affairs events, and policy discussions. Lamb shared his idea with several cable executives, who helped him launch the network. Among them were Bob Rosencrans, who provided $25,000 of initial funding in 1979, and John D. Evans, who provided the wiring and access to the headend needed for the distribution of the C-SPAN signal. According to a report from commentator Jeff Greenfield on
Nightline ''Nightline'' (or ''ABC News Nightline'') is ABC News ABC News is the journalism, news division of Walt Disney Television's American Broadcasting Company, ABC broadcast network. Its flagship program is the daily evening newscast ''ABC World ...
in 1980, C-SPAN was launched to provide televised coverage of U.S. political events in their entirety. The purpose was to help viewers maintain a thorough view of politics and especially presidential campaigns. This was unlike television newscasts, which "not really inform us about what the candidates mean to do with the power they ask of us." C-SPAN was launched on March 19, 1979, in time for the first televised session made available by the House of Representatives, beginning with a speech by then-
Tennessee Tennessee (, ), officially the State of Tennessee, is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The S ...

Tennessee
representative
Al Gore Albert Arnold Gore Jr. (born March 31, 1948) is an American politician and who served as the 45th from 1993 to 2001. Gore was 's running mate in their and the pair were re-elected in 1996. Near the end of Clinton's second term, Gore was s ...

Al Gore
. Upon its debut, only 3.5 million homes were wired for C-SPAN, and the network had just three employees. C-SPAN began full-time operations on September 14, 1982. After C-SPAN was created and began proceedings of the House of Representatives, the Senate wanted the same. After two years of discussion, Majority Leader
Howard Baker Howard Henry Baker Jr. (November 15, 1925 June 26, 2014) was an American politician and diplomat who served as a United States Senate, United States Senator from Tennessee from 1967 to 1985. During his tenure, he rose to the rank of Senate Mino ...

Howard Baker
introduced a resolution to allow cameras into the Senate, but it went nowhere. By 1986, Senator William L. Armstrong convinced his colleagues to allow cameras onto the Senate floor. The second C-SPAN channel, C-SPAN2, followed on June 2, 1986 when the
U.S. Senate The United States Senate is the Upper house, upper chamber of the United States Congress, with the United States House of Representatives, House of Representatives being the Lower house, lower chamber. Together they compose the national Bica ...
permitted itself to be televised. It began full-time operations on January 5, 1987. C-SPAN3, the most recent expansion channel, began full-time operations on January 22, 2001, and shows live/taped public policy and government-related events on weekdays, with historical programming being shown on weeknights and weekends. It has also sometimes served as an overflow channel for live programming conflicts on C-SPAN and C-SPAN2. C-SPAN3 is the successor of a digital channel called C-SPAN Extra, which was launched in the Washington D.C. area in 1997, and televised live and recorded political events from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Eastern Time The Eastern Time Zone (ET) is a time zone A time zone is an area that observes a uniform standard time for legal, Commerce, commercial and social purposes. Time zones tend to follow the boundaries between Country, countries and their Adm ...
Monday through Friday. C-SPAN Radio began operations on October 9, 1997, covering similar events as the television networks and often
simulcast Simulcast (a portmanteau A portmanteau (, ) or portmanteau word (from "Portmanteau (luggage), portmanteau") is a Blend word, blend of words
ing their programming. The station broadcasts on WCSP-FM (90.1 MHz) in Washington, D.C., is also available on
XM Satellite Radio XM Satellite Radio (XM) was one of the three satellite radio Satellite radio is defined by the International Telecommunication Union File:ITU monument, Bern.jpg, 260px, ITU Monument, Bern The International Telecommunication Union is a l ...
channel 120 and is streamed live at c-span.org. It was formerly available on
Sirius Satellite Radio Sirius Satellite Radio was a satellite radio Satellite radio is defined by the International Telecommunication Union File:ITU monument, Bern.jpg, 260px, ITU Monument, Bern The International Telecommunication Union is a list of speci ...
from 2002 to 2006. Lamb semi-retired in March 2012, coinciding with the channel's 33rd anniversary, and gave executive control of the network to his two lieutenants, Rob Kennedy and
Susan Swain Susan Swain is an Americans, American journalist, author and the co-CEO of C-SPAN. Early years Swain was born December 23, 1954 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Swain was educated in public schools in the Philadelphia area. Swain studied at the Uni ...
. On January 12, 2017, the online feed for C-SPAN1 was interrupted and replaced by a feed from the Russian television network
RT America RT America is a U.S.-based news channel headquartered in Washington, DC. It is part of the , a global multilingual television news network based in funded by the . The channel says its reach is 85 million people in the United States, but this fig ...
for approximately 10 minutes. C-SPAN announced that they were troubleshooting the incident and were "operating under the assumption that it was an internal routing issue."


Anniversaries

C-SPAN celebrated its 10th anniversary in 1989 with a three-hour retrospective, featuring Lamb recalling the development of the network. The 15th anniversary was commemorated in an unconventional manner as the network facilitated a series of re-enactments of the seven historic Lincoln-Douglas debates of 1858, which were televised from August to October 1994, and have been rebroadcast from time to time ever since. Five years later, the series '' American Presidents: Life Portraits'', which won a
Peabody Award The George Foster Peabody Awards (or simply Peabody Awards or the Peabodys) program, named for the American businessman and philanthropist George Foster Peabody, George Peabody, honor the most powerful, enlightening, and invigorating stories in ...
, served as a year-long observation of C-SPAN's 20th anniversary. In 2004, C-SPAN celebrated its 25th anniversary, by which time the flagship network was viewed in 86 million homes, C-SPAN2 was in 70 million homes and C-SPAN3 was in eight million homes. On the anniversary date, C-SPAN repeated the first televised hour of
floor A floor is the bottom surface of a room or vehicle. Floors vary from simple dirt in a cave to many-layered surfaces made with modern technology. Floors may be stone, wood, bamboo, metal or any other material that can support the expected load ...
debate in the House of Representatives from 1979 and, throughout the month, 25th anniversary features included "then and now" segments with journalists who had appeared on C-SPAN during its early years. Also included in the 25th anniversary was an essay contest for viewers to write in about how C-SPAN has influenced their life regarding community service. For example, one essay contest winner wrote about how C-SPAN's non-fiction book programming serves as a resource in his charitable mission to record non-fiction audio books for people who are blind. To commemorate 25 years of taking viewer telephone calls, in 2005, C-SPAN had a 25-hour "call-in marathon", from 8:00 pm. Eastern Time on Friday, October 7, concluding at 9:00 pm. Eastern Time on Saturday, October 8. The network also had a viewer essay contest, the winner of which was invited to co-host an hour of the broadcast from C-SPAN's Capitol Hill studios.


Scope and limitations of coverage

C-SPAN continues to expand its coverage of government proceedings, with a history of requests to government officials for greater access, especially to the
U.S. Supreme Court The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) is the highest court in the federal judiciary of the United States of America The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is a coun ...

U.S. Supreme Court
. In December 2009, Lamb wrote to leaders in the House and Senate, requesting that negotiations for
health care reform Health care reform is for the most part governmental policy that affects in a given place. Health care reform typically attempts to: * Broaden the population that receives coverage through either insurance programs or * Expand the array of heal ...
be televised by C-SPAN. Committee meetings on health care were broadcast subsequently by C-SPAN and may be viewed on the C-SPAN website. In November 2010, Lamb wrote to incoming
House Speaker File:Marshal's chair Sejm Plenary Hall.JPG, 250px, Marshal's chair in the Sejm of the Republic of Poland, Sejm, lower chamber of the Polish Parliament The speaker of a deliberative assembly, especially a Legislature, legislative body, is its chai ...
John Boehner John Andrew Boehner ( ; born , 1949) is an American retired politician who served as the List of Speakers of the United States House of Representatives, 53rd speaker of the United States House of Representatives from 2011 to 2015. A member of ...

John Boehner
requesting changes to restrictions on cameras in the House. In particular, C-SPAN asked to add some of its own robotically operated cameras to the existing government-controlled cameras in the House chamber. In February 2011, Boehner denied the request. A previous request to Speaker Designate
Nancy Pelosi Nancy Patricia Pelosi (; ; born March 26, 1940) is an American politician serving as since 2019, and previously from 2007 to 2011. She has served as a U.S. representative from since 1987. A member of the , Pelosi is the only woman in U.S. h ...

Nancy Pelosi
in 2006, to add C-SPAN's cameras in the House chamber to record floor proceedings, was also denied. Although C-SPAN uses the congressional chamber feed cables, the cameras are owned and controlled by each respective body of Congress. Requests by C-SPAN for camera access to non-government events such as the annual dinner by the
Gridiron Club The Gridiron Club and Foundation – founded in 1885 as The Gridiron Club of Washington, D.C. – is the oldest and one of the most prestigious journalistic organizations in Washington, D.C. History Frank A. De Puy (1854–1927) was one ...
have also been denied. On June 22 and into June 23, 2016, C-SPAN took video footage of the House floor from individual House representatives via streaming services
Periscope A periscope is an instrument for observation over, around or through an object, obstacle or condition that prevents direct line-of-sight observation from an observer's current position. In its simplest form, it consists of an outer case with ...
and
Facebook Live Facebook is a social network service website launched on February 4, 2004 by Mark Zuckerberg Mark Elliot Zuckerberg (; born ) is an American media magnate, internet entrepreneur, and philanthropist. He is known for co-founding Facebook, Inc ...

Facebook Live
during a
sit-in Human rights sit-in at the Executive Yuan, Taiwanese executive assembly A sit-in or sit-down is a form of direct action that involves one or more people occupying an area for a protest, often to promote political, social, or economic change. The ...
by House Democrats asking for a vote on gun control measures after the
Orlando nightclub shooting On , 2016, Omar Mateen, a 29-year-old local man, killed 49 people and wounded 53 more in a mass shooting inside Pulse nightclub, Pulse, a gay bar, gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, United States. Orlando Police officers shot and killed him aft ...
. This needed to be done because—as the sit-in was done out of formal session and while the House was in official recess—the existing House cameras could not be utilized for coverage of the event by rule. Although the use of electronic devices to create the
Periscope A periscope is an instrument for observation over, around or through an object, obstacle or condition that prevents direct line-of-sight observation from an observer's current position. In its simplest form, it consists of an outer case with ...
feeds by House Democrats violated House rules that prohibit their use on the floor, C-SPAN did not state why it chose to broadcast those feeds. The network ran disclaimers on-air and on their official social media feeds noting the restrictions.


Expansion and technology

Since the late 1990s, C-SPAN has significantly expanded its online presence. In January 1997, C-SPAN began real-time streaming of C-SPAN and C-SPAN2 on its website, the first time that Congress had been live streamed online. To cover the
Democratic Democrat, Democrats, or Democratic may refer to: *A proponent of democracy Democracy ( gr, δημοκρατία, ''dēmokratiā'', from ''dēmos'' 'people' and ''kratos'' 'rule') is a form of government in which people, the people have the a ...

Democratic
and
Republican Republican can refer to: Political ideology * An advocate of a republic, a type of government that is not a monarchy or dictatorship, and is usually associated with the rule of law. ** Republicanism, the ideology in support of republics or against ...
conventions and the presidential debates of 2008, C-SPAN created two standalone websites: the Convention Hub and the Debate Hub. In addition to real-time streams of C-SPAN's television networks online, c-span.org features further live programming such as committee hearings and speeches that are broadcast later in the day, after the House and Senate have left. C-SPAN began promoting audience interaction early in its history, by the regular incorporation of viewer telephone calls in its programming. It has since expanded into social media. In March 2009, viewers began submitting questions live via
Twitter Twitter is an American microblogging Microblogging is an online broadcast medium that exists as a specific form of blogging A blog (a truncation In mathematics and computer science, truncation is limiting the number of numerical di ...

Twitter
to guests on C-SPAN's morning call-in show ''
Washington Journal ''Washington Journal'' is an American American(s) may refer to: * American, something of, from, or related to the United States of America, commonly known as the United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the Un ...
''. The network also has a
Facebook Facebook is an American online social media Social media are interactive technologies that allow the creation or sharing/exchange of information, ideas, career interests, and other forms of expression via virtual communities and Network ...

Facebook
page to which it added occasional live streaming in January 2011. The live stream is intended to show selected well-publicized events of Congress. In June 2010, C-SPAN joined with the website Foursquare to provide users of the application with access to geotagged C-SPAN content at various locations in Washington, D.C. In 2010, C-SPAN began a transition to high definition telecasts, planned to take place over an 18-month period. The network provided C-SPAN and C-SPAN2 in high definition on June 1, 2010, and C-SPAN3 in July 2010. As part of the network's 40th anniversary, C-SPAN instituted the second logo change in the network's history on March 18, 2019.


Programming


Senate and House of Representatives

The C-SPAN network's core programming is live coverage of the U.S. House and Senate, with the C-SPAN channel emphasizing the
United States House of Representatives The United States House of Representatives is the of the , with the being the . Together they compose the national of the . The House's composition is established by . The House is composed of representatives who sit in allocated to ea ...
. Between 1979 and May 2011, the network televised more than 24,246 hours of floor action. C-SPAN2, the first of the C-SPAN spin-off networks, provides uninterrupted live coverage of the
United States Senate The United States Senate is the upper chamber of the United States Congress The United States Congress is the legislature A legislature is an deliberative assembly, assembly with the authority to make laws for a Polity, politic ...
. With coverage of the House and Senate, viewers can track legislation as it moves through both bodies of Congress. Important debates in Congress that C-SPAN has covered live include the Persian Gulf conflict during 1991, and the House impeachment vote and Senate trial of President
Bill Clinton William Jefferson Clinton (; born August 19, 1946) is an American politician and attorney who served as the 42nd president of the United States The president of the United States (POTUS) is the head of state and head of government of ...

Bill Clinton
in 1998 and 1999 as well as the impeachment proceedings of President Trump in 2019 and 2020. When the House or Senate are not in session, C-SPAN channels broadcast other public affairs programming and recordings of previous events.


Public affairs

The public affairs coverage on the C-SPAN networks other than the House and Senate floor debates is wide-ranging. C-SPAN is considered a useful source of information for journalists, lobbyists, educators and government officials as well as casual viewers interested in politics, due to its unedited coverage of political events. C-SPAN has been described by media observers as a "window into the world of Washington politics" and it characterizes its own mission as being "to provide public access to the political process". The networks cover U.S. political campaigns, including the
Republican Republican can refer to: Political ideology * An advocate of a republic, a type of government that is not a monarchy or dictatorship, and is usually associated with the rule of law. ** Republicanism, the ideology in support of republics or against ...
,
Democratic Democrat, Democrats, or Democratic may refer to: *A proponent of democracy Democracy ( gr, δημοκρατία, ''dēmokratiā'', from ''dēmos'' 'people' and ''kratos'' 'rule') is a form of government in which people, the people have the a ...
, and
Libertarian Libertarianism (from french: libertaire, "libertarian"; from la, libertas, "freedom") is a political philosophy that upholds liberty as a core principle. Libertarians seek to maximize autonomy and political freedom, emphasizing Freedom of assoc ...
presidential nominating conventions in their entirety. Coverage of presidential campaign events are provided during the duration of the campaign, both by a weekly television program, '' Road to the White House'', and at its dedicated politics website. C-SPAN also covers
midterm elections Apart from general elections and by-elections, midterm election refers to a type of election An election is a formal group decision-making process by which a population chooses an individual or multiple individuals to hold Public administ ...
. All three channels televise events such as
congressional hearingA United States congressional hearing is the principal formal method by which United States congressional committees collect and analyze information in the early stages of legislative policymaking. Whether confirmation hearings (a procedure unique ...
s,
White House The White House is the official residence and workplace of the president of the United States. It is located at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue Northwest, Washington, D.C., NW in Washington, D.C., and has been the residence of every U.S. preside ...

White House
press briefings and presidential speeches, as well as other government meetings including
Federal Communications Commission The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is an independent agency A regulatory agency or regulatory authority, is a Public benefit corporation Public-benefit corporation is a term that has different meanings in different jurisdictions. In ...
hearings and
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press conferences. Other U.S. political coverage includes
State of the Union The State of the Union Address (sometimes abbreviated to SOTU) is an annual message delivered by the president of the United States The president of the United States (POTUS) is the head of state and head of government of the United Sta ...

State of the Union
speeches, and presidential press conferences. According to the results of a survey after the 1992 presidential election, 85% of C-SPAN viewers voted in that election. The results of a similar survey in 2013 found that 89% of C-SPAN viewers voted in the 2012 presidential election. In addition to this political coverage, the network broadcasts
press conference A press conference or news conference is a media event A media event, also known as a pseudo-event, is an event, activity, or experience conducted for the purpose of media publicity. It may also include any event that is covered in the mass medi ...

press conference
s and meetings of various
news media The news media or news industry are forms of mass media Mass media refers to a diverse array of media Media may refer to: Physical means Communication * Media (communication), tools used to deliver information or data ** Adverti ...
and nonprofit organizations, including those at the
National Press Club A press club is an organization for journalist A journalist is an individual trained to collect/gather information in form of text, audio or pictures, processes them to a news-worth form and disseminates it to the public. The act or process mainl ...
, public policy seminars and the
White House Correspondents' Dinner The White House Correspondents' Association (WHCA) is an organization of journalists who cover the White House The White House is the official residence and workplace of the president of the United States. It is located at 1600 Penn ...
. While C-SPAN does not have video access to the Supreme Court, the network has used the Court's audio recordings accompanied by still photographs of the justices and lawyers to cover the Court in session on significant cases, and has covered individual Supreme Court justices' speaking engagements. Occasionally, proceedings of the
Parliament of Australia The Parliament of Australia (officially the Federal Parliament, also called the Commonwealth Parliament) is the legislative branch A legislature is a deliberative assembly A deliberative assembly is a gathering of members (of any kind ...

Parliament of Australia
,
Parliament of Canada The Parliament of Canada (french: Parlement du Canada) is the Canadian federalism, federal legislature of Canada, seated at Parliament Hill in Ottawa, and is composed of three parts: the Monarch, the Senate of Canada, Senate, and the House of C ...

Parliament of Canada
,
Parliament of the United Kingdom The Parliament of the United Kingdom is the supreme legislative body A legislature is an assembly Assembly may refer to: Organisations and meetings * Deliberative assembly A deliberative assembly is a gathering of members (of any kin ...
(usually
Prime Minister's Questions Prime Minister's Questions (PMQs, officially known as Questions to the Prime Minister, while colloquially known as Prime Minister's Question Time) is a constitutional convention in the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain ...
and the
State Opening of Parliament#REDIRECT State Opening of Parliament The State Opening of Parliament is an event which formally marks the beginning of a session of the Parliament of the United Kingdom The Parliament of the United Kingdom is the Parliamentary sovereignty ...
) and other governments are shown on C-SPAN when they discuss matters of importance to viewers in the U.S. Similarly, the networks will sometimes broadcast news reports from around the world when major events occur – for instance, C-SPAN broadcast
CBC Television CBC Television (also known as CBC TV) is a Canadian English-language broadcast Broadcasting is the distribution (business), distribution of sound, audio or video content to a dispersed audience via any electronic medium (communication), mass ...
coverage of the
September 11 attacks The September 11 attacks, also commonly referred to as 9/11, were a series of four coordinated by the militant terrorist group against the on the morning of Tuesday, September 11, 2001. On that morning, four commercial s traveling fro ...
. C-SPAN also covers
lying in state Lying in state is the tradition in which the body of a dead official is placed in a state building, either outside or inside a coffin, to allow the public to pay their respects. It traditionally takes place in the principal government buildin ...
in the
Capitol Rotunda The United States Capitol rotunda is the central rotunda of the United States Capitol The United States Capitol, often called The Capitol or the Capitol Building, is the meeting place of the United States Congress and the seat of the leg ...

Capitol Rotunda
and funerals of former presidents and other notable individuals. In 2005, C-SPAN covered
Hurricane Katrina Hurricane Katrina was a large and destructive Category 5 Atlantic hurricane A Category 5 Atlantic hurricane is a tropical cyclone that reaches Category 5 intensity on the Saffir–Simpson hurricane wind scale, within the Atlantic Ocean to ...
through
NBC The National Broadcasting Company (NBC) is an American American(s) may refer to: * American, something of, from, or related to the United States of America, commonly known as the United States The United States of America (USA), co ...
affiliate
WDSU WDSU, virtual channel In most telecommunications Telecommunication is the transmission of information by various types of technologies over , radio, , or other systems. It has its origin in the desire of humans for communication over a ...
in
New Orleans New Orleans (,New Orleans
Merriam-Webster.
; french: La Nouvelle-Orléans ) is a Consolidat ...

New Orleans
, as well as coverage of
Hurricane Ike Hurricane Ike () was a powerful tropical cyclone that swept through portions of the Greater Antilles and Northern America in September 2008, wreaking havoc on infrastructure and agriculture, particularly in Cuba and Texas. Ike took a simi ...

Hurricane Ike
via
CBS CBS is an American American(s) may refer to: * American, something of, from, or related to the United States of America, commonly known as the United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S ...

CBS
affiliate
KHOU KHOU, virtual and VHF Very high frequency (VHF) is the ITU designation for the range of radio frequency Radio frequency (RF) is the oscillation rate of an Alternating_current, alternating electric current or voltage or of a Magnetic_fi ...
in
Houston Houston ( ) is the List of cities in Texas by population, most populous city in Texas, List of United States cities by population, fourth-most populous city in the United States, most populous city in the Southern United States, as well as th ...

Houston
. C-SPAN also carries CBC coverage during events that affect
Canadians Canadians (french: Canadiens) are people identified with the country of Canada Canada is a country in the northern part of North America. Its Provinces and territories of Canada, ten provinces and three territories extend from the Atl ...

Canadians
, such as the Canadian federal elections, the death and state funeral of Pierre Trudeau, and the 2003 North America blackout. During early 2011, C-SPAN carried broadcasts by
Al Jazeera Al Jazeera ( ar, الجزيرة, translit-std=DIN, translit=al-jazīrah, , literally "The Island", though referring to the Arabian Peninsula The Arabian Peninsula (; ar, شِبْهُ الْجَزِيرَةِ الْعَرَبِيَّ ...
to cover the events in
Egypt Egypt ( ar, مِصر, Miṣr), officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a spanning the and the of . It is bordered by the to , the () and to , the to the east, to , and to . In the northeast, the , which is the northern arm of the R ...
,
Tunisia ) , image_map = Tunisia location (orthographic projection).svg , map_caption = Location of Tunisia in northern Africa Africa is the world's second-largest and second-most populous continent A continent is one of several larg ...
, and other Arab nations. Additionally, C-SPAN simulcasts
NASA The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA; ) is an independent agencies of the United States government, independent agency of the Federal government of the United States, U.S. federal government responsible for the civilian Li ...

NASA
Space Shuttle mission launches and landings live, using video footage and audio sourced from
NASA TV NASA TV (originally NASA Select) is the television Television (TV), sometimes shortened to tele or telly, is a telecommunication medium used for transmitting moving images in monochrome (black and white), or in color, and in two or t ...

NASA TV
. With its public affairs programming, C-SPAN intends to offer different viewpoints by allowing time for multiple opinions to be discussed on a given topic. For example, in 2004 C-SPAN intended to televise a speech by
Holocaust The Holocaust, also known as the Shoah, was the genocide Genocide is the intentional action to destroy a people—usually defined as an ethnic, national, racial, or religious Religion is a social system, social-cultural syst ...

Holocaust
historian ( 484– 425 BC) was a Greek historian who lived in the 5th century BC and one of the earliest historians whose work survives. A historian is a person who studies and writes about the past and is regarded as an authority on it. Historians are con ...
Deborah Lipstadt Deborah Esther Lipstadt (born March 18, 1947) is an American historian ( 484– 425 BC) was a Greek historian who lived in the 5th century BC and one of the earliest historians whose work survives. A historian is a person who studies and write ...
adjacent to a speech by
Holocaust denier Holocaust denial is the act of denying the Nazi genocide of Jews in the Holocaust. Holocaust deniers make one or more of the following false statements: *Nazi Germany's Final Solution was aimed only at Expulsions and exoduses of Jews, deportin ...
David Irving David John Cawdell Irving (born 24 March 1938) is an English author and Holocaust denier who has written on the military and political history of World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW ...

David Irving
, who had unsuccessfully sued Lipstadt for
libel Defamation (also known as calumny, vilification, libel, slander, or traducement) is the oral or written communication of a false statement about another that unjustly harms their reputation and usually constitutes a tort A tort, in commo ...

libel
in the
United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' use Britain as a synonym for the United Kingdom. Some prefer to use Britain as shorth ...

United Kingdom
four years earlier; C-SPAN was criticized for its use of the word "balance" to describe the plan to cover both Lipstadt and Irving. When Lipstadt ended media access to her speech, C-SPAN canceled coverage of both. The network strives for neutrality and a lack of
bias Bias is a disproportionate weight ''in favor of'' or ''against'' an idea or thing, usually in a way that is closed-minded Open-mindedness is receptiveness to new ideas. Open-mindedness relates to the way in which people approach the views and kn ...

bias
; in all programming when on-camera hosts are present their role is simply to facilitate and explain proceedings to the viewer. Due to this policy, C-SPAN hosts do not state their names on television.


C-SPAN and C-SPAN2 flagship programs

C-SPAN covers floor proceedings of the
House of Representatives House of Representatives is the name of legislative bodies A legislature is a deliberative assembly A deliberative assembly is a gathering of members (of any kind of collective) who use parliamentary procedure Parliamentary procedure is ...
, while C-SPAN 2 covers floor proceedings of the
Senate The Curia Julia in the Roman Forum ">Roman_Forum.html" ;"title="Curia Julia in the Roman Forum">Curia Julia in the Roman Forum A senate is a deliberative assembly, often the upper house or Debating chamber, chamber of a bicameral legislatu ...
. Although many hours of programming on C-SPAN are dedicated to coverage of the House, the network's daily programming begins with the political phone-in and interview program ''Washington Journal'' from 7:00 to 10:00 a.m. Eastern Time. ''Washington Journal'' premiered on January 4, 1995 and has been broadcast every morning since then, with guests including elected officials, government administrators, and journalists. The program covers current events, with guests answering questions on topics presented by the hosts, as well as questions from members of the general public. On weeknights C-SPAN2 dedicates its schedule to ''Politics and Public Policy Today'' (9:00 p.m. – midnight for the East Coast primetime, replayed immediately for the West Coast primetime), which is a block of recordings of the day's noteworthy events in rapid succession. On the weekend schedule, C-SPAN's main programs are: ''America and the Courts'', which is shown each Saturday at 7:00 p.m. Eastern Time, ''Newsmakers'', a Sunday morning interview program with newsworthy guests; '' Q&A'', a Sunday evening interview program hosted by Brian Lamb, with guests including journalists, politicians, authors, and other public figures; and ''The Communicators'', which features interviews with journalists, government officials, and businesspeople involved with the communications industry and related legislation. On weekends C-SPAN2 dedicates its schedule to ''
Book TV ''Book TV'' is the name given to weekend programming on the American cable network Networking cables are networking hardware used to connect one network device to other network devices or to connect two or more computers to share printers, sc ...
'', which is 48 hours of programming about non-fiction books, book events, and authors. ''Book TV'' was launched in September 1998. ''
Booknotes ''Booknotes'' is an Television in the United States, American television series on the C-SPAN television network, network hosted by Brian Lamb, which originally aired from 1989 to 2004. The format of the show is a one-hour, one-on-one interview with ...
'' was originally broadcast from 1989 to 2004, as a one-hour one-on-one
interview conducted with a member of the public File:Luis Castro esklevndurt.jpg, Some interviews are recorded for television broadcast An interview is essentially a structured conversation where one participant asks questions, and the other provides ...

interview
of a non-fiction author. Repeats of the interviews remain a regular part of the ''Book TV'' schedule with the title ''Encore Booknotes''. Other ''Book TV'' programs feature political and historical books and biographies of public figures. These include ''
In Depth ''In Depth'' is a program that airs monthly on C-SPAN 2 as part of their Book TV ''Book TV'' is the name given to weekend programming on the American cable network C-SPAN2 airing from 8 a.m. Eastern Time The Eastern Time Zone (ET) is a ti ...

In Depth
'', a live, monthly, three-hour interview with a single author, and ''
After Words ''After Words'' is an American American(s) may refer to: * American, something of, from, or related to the United States of America, commonly known as the United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United Sta ...
'', an author interview program featuring guest hosts interviewing authors on topics with which both are familiar. ''After Words'' was developed as a new type of author interview program after the end of production of ''Booknotes''. Weekend programming on ''Book TV'' also includes coverage of book events such as panel discussions, book fairs, book signings, readings by authors and tours of bookstores around the U.S.


C-SPAN3

C-SPAN 3 covers public affairs events, congressional hearings and history programming. The weekday programming on C-SPAN3 (from the morning — anywhere from 6 to 8:30 a.m. — to 8 p.m. Eastern Time) features uninterrupted live public affairs events, in particular political events from Washington, D.C. Each weekend since January 8, 2011, the network has broadcast 48 hours of programming dedicated to the history of the United States, under the
umbrella titleAn umbrella title is a formal or informal name connecting a number of individual items with a common theme. It is most often used in lieu of listing the separate components or providing a convenient "label" for a collection of disciplines. Uses of u ...
''American History TV''. The programming covers the history of the U.S. from the founding of the nation through the late 20th century. Programs include ''American Artifacts'', which is dedicated to exploring museums, archives and historical sites, and ''Lectures in History'', featuring major university history professors giving lectures on U.S. history. In 2009, C-SPAN3 aired an eight-installment series of interviews from the Robert J. Dole Institute of Politics at the
University of Kansas The University of Kansas (KU) is a public In public relations and communication science, publics are groups of individual people, and the public (a.k.a. the general public) is the totality of such groupings. This is a different concept to ...
, which featured historian Richard Norton Smith and Vice President
Walter Mondale Walter Frederick "Fritz" Mondale (January 5, 1928 – April 19, 2021) was an American lawyer and politician who served as the 42nd vice president of the United States The vice president of the United States (VPOTUS) is the second-highest offi ...
, among other interviewees.


Special programming

C-SPAN has occasionally produced spinoff programs from ''Booknotes'' focusing on specific topics. In 1994, ''Booknotes'' collaborated with Lincoln scholar
Harold Holzer Harold Holzer (born February 5, 1949) is a scholar of Abraham Lincoln and the political culture of the American Civil War Era. He serves as director of Hunter College's Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute at Hunter College, Roosevelt House Pu ...

Harold Holzer
to produce re-creations of the seven
Lincoln–Douglas debates The Lincoln–Douglas debates (also known as The Great Debates of 1858) were a series of seven debates between Abraham Lincoln, the Republican Party (United States), Republican Party candidate for the United States Senate from Illinois, and ...
. Several years later, a similar series retraced the journey of
Alexis de Tocqueville#REDIRECT Alexis de Tocqueville Alexis Charles Henri Clérel, comte de Tocqueville (; 29 July 180516 April 1859), colloquially known as Tocqueville (), was a French aristocrat, diplomat, political scientist, political philosopher and historia ...

Alexis de Tocqueville
described in ''
Democracy in America ''De La Démocratie en Amérique'' (; published in two volumes, the first in 1835 and the second in 1840) is a classic French text by Alexis de Tocqueville Alexis Charles Henri Clérel, comte de Tocqueville (; 29 July 180516 April 1859), col ...
''. Another special series was ''
American Writers Lists of American writers include: United States By ethnicity *List of Asian American writersThis is a list of Asian American writers, authors, and poets who have Wikipedia pages. Their works are considered part of Asian American literature. A-D ...
'', a 38-week tour of the U.S. based on the works of 40 famous American writers. During 2008 and 2009, as part of programming specially commissioned for the 200th anniversary of the birth of
Abraham Lincoln Abraham Lincoln (; February 12, 1809 – April 15, 1865) was an American statesman and lawyer who served as the 16th from 1861 until in 1865. Lincoln led the nation through the , the country's greatest moral, cultural, constitutional, and ...

Abraham Lincoln
, C-SPAN produced a series titled ''Lincoln 200 Years'', which featured episodes on a variety of topics relating to the life of Lincoln including his career, his homes and his opinions of slavery. The network has also produced special feature documentaries of American institutions and historical landmarks, exploring their history to the present day. These programs include: ''The Capitol'' emphasizing the history, art, and architecture of the U.S. Capitol Building; ''The White House'', featuring film footage inside the White House and exploring the history of the building and its occupants; ''The Supreme Court'', focusing on the history and personalities of the court; and ''Inside Blair House'', an examination of the
president's guest house Blair House, also known as The President's Guest House, is an official residence in Washington, D.C., the capital of the United States. The President's Guest House has been called "the world's most exclusive hotel" because it is primarily used ...

president's guest house
. In 2013, C-SPAN introduced a new program, '' First Ladies: Influence & Image''. 35 episodes profiling the First Ladies are planned for the series, which was created with support from the
White House Historical Association The White House Blue Room refurbished in 1995 with contributions from the White House Historical Association's White House Endowment Trust. The White House Historical Association, founded in 1961 through efforts of First Lady Jacqueline Kenned ...
.


Radio broadcasts

In addition to the three television networks, C-SPAN also broadcasts via C-SPAN Radio, which is carried on their
owned-and-operated station In the broadcasting industry, an owned-and-operated station (frequently abbreviated as an O&O) usually refers to a television or radio station owned by the network with which it is associated. This distinguishes such a station from an affiliate A ...
WCSP-FM WCSP-FM, also known as C-SPAN Radio, is a radio Radio is the technology of signaling and telecommunication, communicating using radio waves. Radio waves are electromagnetic waves of frequency between 30 hertz (Hz) and 300 gigaher ...
(90.1 FM) in the Washington, D.C. area with all three cable network feeds airing via HD Radio subchannels, and nationwide on XM Satellite Radio. Its programming is also livestreamed at c-span.org and is available via apps for iPhone, BlackBerry and Android devices. C-SPAN Radio has a selective policy regarding its broadcast content, rather than duplicating the television network programming, although it does offer some audio simulcasts of programs such as ''Washington Journal''. Unique programming on the radio station includes
oral histories Oral history is the collection and study of historical information about individuals, families, important events, or everyday life using audiotapes, videotapes, or transcriptions of planned interview Some interviews are recorded for televis ...
, and some committee meetings and press conferences not shown on television due to programming commitments. The station also compiles the
Sunday morning talk showsA Sunday morning talk show is a television program with a news/ talk/ public affairs–hybrid format that is broadcast on Sunday mornings. This type of program originated in the United States The United States of America (USA), commonly know ...
for a same-day rebroadcast without commercials, in rapid succession.


Online availability

C-SPAN archival video is available through the
C-SPAN Video Library C-SPAN Video Library is the streaming media, audio and video streaming website of C-SPAN, the United States, American legislature broadcaster, legislative broadcaster. The site offers a complete, freely accessible archive going back to 1987. It was ...

C-SPAN Video Library
, maintained at the Purdue Research Park in
West Lafayette, Indiana West Lafayette () is a city in Wabash Township, Tippecanoe County, Indiana Indiana () is a U.S. state in the Midwestern United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or Amer ...
. Unveiled in August 2007, the C-SPAN Video Library contains all of the network's programming since 1987, totaling more than 160,000 hours at its completion of digitization and public debut in March 2010. Older C-SPAN programming continues to be added to the library, dating back to the beginning of the network in 1979, and some limited earlier footage from the National Archives, such as film clips of
Richard Nixon Richard Milhous Nixon (January 9, 1913April 22, 1994) was the 37th president of the United States The president of the United States (POTUS) is the and of the . The president directs the of the and is the of the . The power o ...

Richard Nixon
's 1972 trip to China, is available as well. Most of the recordings before 1987 (when the C-SPAN Archive was established) were not saved, except for approximately 10,000 hours of video which are slated to be made available online. , the C-SPAN Video Library held over 261,000 hours of programming, and they have been viewed over 253 million times. Described by media commentators as a major educational service and a valuable resource for researchers of politics and history, the C-SPAN Video Library has also had a major role in media and
opposition research In politics, opposition research (also called oppo research) is the practice of collecting information on a political opponent or other adversary that can be used to discredit or otherwise weaken them. The information can include biographical, lega ...
in several U.S. political campaigns. It won a
Peabody Award The George Foster Peabody Awards (or simply Peabody Awards or the Peabodys) program, named for the American businessman and philanthropist George Foster Peabody, George Peabody, honor the most powerful, enlightening, and invigorating stories in ...
in 2010 "for creating an enduring archive of the history of American policymaking, and for providing it as a free, user-friendly public service." Prior to the initiation of the C-SPAN Video Library, websites such as Metavid and voterwatch.org hosted House and Senate video records, however C-SPAN contested Metavid's usage of C-SPAN copyrighted footage. The result was Metavid's removal of portions of the archive produced with C-SPAN's cameras, while preserving its archive of government-produced content. C-SPAN also engaged in actions to stop parties from making unauthorized uses of its content online, including its video of House and Senate proceedings. Most notably, in May 2006, C-SPAN requested the removal of Stephen Colbert's performance at the White House Correspondents' Association Dinner from
YouTube YouTube is an American online video sharing and social media platform Social media are interactive technologies that allow the Content creation, creation or information sharing, sharing/exchange of information, ideas, career interests, an ...

YouTube
. After concerns by some webloggers, C-SPAN gave permission for
Google Video Google Video was a free video hosting service from Google Google LLC is an American Multinational corporation, multinational technology company that specializes in Internet-related services and products, which include online advertis ...
to host the full event. On March 7, 2007 C-SPAN liberalized its copyright policy for current, future, and past coverage of any official events sponsored by Congress and any federal agency and now allows for attributed non-commercial copying, sharing, and posting of C-SPAN video on the Internet, excluding re-syndication of live video streams. The new policy did not affect the public's right to use the public domain video coverage of the floor proceedings of the U.S. House and Senate. In 2008, C-SPAN's online political coverage was expanded just prior to the elections, with the introduction of three special pages on the C-SPAN website: the C-SPAN Convention Hubs and C-SPAN Debate Hub, which offered video of major events as well as discussion from weblogs and social media about the major party conventions and candidate debates. C-SPAN brought back the Convention Hub for the 2012 presidential election. In addition to the programming available in the C-SPAN Video Library, all C-SPAN programming is available as a live feed streamed on its website in
Flash Video#REDIRECT Flash Video Flash Video is a container file format used to deliver digital video Digital video is an electronic representation of moving visual images ( video) in the form of encoded digital data Digital usually refers to somethin ...
format. On July 29, 2014, C-SPAN announced that it would begin restricting access to the live feeds of the main channel, C-SPAN2 and C-SPAN3 to subscribers of cable or satellite providers later that summer, citing concerns with the slow shift in viewing habits from cable television to the internet due to its reliance on carriage fees from cable and satellite providers. However, it will continue to allow all government meetings, hearings and conferences to be streamed live online and via archived on the C-SPAN Video Library without requiring an authenticated login by a provider; live audio feeds of all three channels are also available for free through the network's
mobile app A mobile application, also referred to as a mobile app or simply an app, is a computer program In imperative programming In computer science, imperative programming is a programming paradigm that uses Statement (computer science), statements t ...
. The decision drew some criticism from public interest and government transparency advocates, citing the fact that C-SPAN was designed as a public service. As of December 2019, C-SPAN has begun advertising on its online videos, with YouTube-style advertisements that can be skipped after 5 seconds.


Organization and operations

C-SPAN is operated by the National Cable Satellite Corporation, a
nonprofit organization A nonprofit organization (NPO), also known as a non-business entity, not-for-profit organization, or nonprofit institution, is a legal entity organized and operated for a collective, public or social benefit, in contrast with an entity that o ...
, the board of directors of which consists primarily of representatives of the largest cable companies. Early chairmen of C-SPAN include , John Saeman, Ed Allen and Gene Schneider. C-SPAN began airing internet commercials early in 2021 and offering C-SPAN-themed clothing though not soliciting donations on air; nonetheless, it receives most of its funding from subscriber fees charged to cable and
direct-broadcast satellite Satellite television is a service that delivers television programming to viewers by relaying it from a communications satellite A communications satellite is an artificial satellite that relays and amplifies radio telecommunication signals via a ...
(DBS) operators. , C-SPAN received 6¢ of each subscriber's cable bill for an annual budget of $60 million. As the network is an independent entity, neither the cable industry nor Congress controls the content of its programming. , the network has 282 or 337 employees. C-SPAN is led by co-CEOs Rob Kennedy and
Susan Swain Susan Swain is an Americans, American journalist, author and the co-CEO of C-SPAN. Early years Swain was born December 23, 1954 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Swain was educated in public schools in the Philadelphia area. Swain studied at the Uni ...
. Founder and former CEO Brian Lamb serves as the executive chairman of the board of directors. The majority of C-SPAN's employees are based at C-SPAN's headquarters located on
Capitol Hill Capitol Hill, in addition to being a metonym for the United States Congress, is the largest historic residential neighborhoods in Washington, D.C., neighborhood in Washington, D.C., stretching easterly in front of the United States Capitol along ...
in Washington, D.C.; however, in 2003 television studios were opened in
New York City New York, often called New York City to distinguish it from New York State New York is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of ...

New York City
and
Denver, Colorado Denver () is a consolidated city and county, the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters that are in larger uppercase or capitals (or more forma ...

Denver, Colorado
. These studios use digital equipment that can be controlled from Washington. C-SPAN also maintains
archives An archive is an accumulation of historical records – in any media – or the physical facility in which they are located. Archives contain primary source In the study of history History (from Greek , ''historia'', meaning "inquiry; ...

archives
in
West Lafayette, Indiana West Lafayette () is a city in Wabash Township, Tippecanoe County, Indiana Indiana () is a U.S. state in the Midwestern United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or Amer ...
at the Purdue Research Park under the direction of Dr. Robert X. Browning.


Availability

The C-SPAN networks are available in more than 100 million households , not including access to the C-SPAN websites. More than 7,000 telephone callers have participated with discussion on ''Washington Journal'' . There are no official viewing statistics for C-SPAN because the network, which has no commercials or underwriting advertisements, does not use the
Nielsen ratings Nielsen TV ratings (commonly referred to as Nielsen ratings) are the audience measurement Audience measurement measures how many people are in an audience An audience is a group of people who participate in a show or encounter a work of art ...
. However, there have been a number of surveys providing estimates: * A 1994 survey found that 8.6% of the U.S. population regularly watched C-SPAN. * In 2004 this figure increased to 12% of the U.S. population, according to a
Pew Research Center The Pew Research Center is a nonpartisan Nonpartisanism is a lack of affiliation with, and a lack of bias toward, a political party A political party is an organization that coordinates candidates to compete in a particular country's el ...

Pew Research Center
survey, while 31% of the population was categorized as occasional viewers. More than 28 million people said they watched C-SPAN programming each week. * A March 2009 Hart Research survey found that 20% of homes with cable television watch C-SPAN at least once a week, for an estimated 39 million Americans. * A 2010 poll conducted by C-SPAN and estimates that 79 million adults in the U.S. watched C-SPAN at some time from 2009 to 2010. * In January 2013, Hart Research conducted another survey which showed that 47 million adults, or 24% of adults with access to cable television, watch C-SPAN weekly. Of the 47 million regular C-SPAN viewers, 51% are male and 49% female; 26% are liberal, 31% conservative, and 39% moderate. About half are college graduates. 28% of 18-to-49-year-olds report watching at least once a week, as do 19% of 50- to 64-year-olds, and 22% of those over age 65. *In February 2017, Ipsos Audience conducted another survey which showed that 70 million adults, or 36% of adults with access to cable television, watch C-SPAN on a given six-month period. Of the 70 million regular C-SPAN viewers, 52% are male and 48% female; 25% are
West 250px, A compass rose with west highlighted in black West or Occident is one of the four cardinal directions or points of the compass The points of the compass are the vectors by which planet-based directions are conventionally defined. A co ...
viewers, 22%
Midwest The Midwestern United States, also referred to as the Midwest or the American Midwest, is one of four census regions of the United States Census Bureau The United States Census Bureau (USCB), officially the Bureau of the Census, is a princ ...
, 20%
Northeast The points of the compass are the vectors by which planet A planet is an astronomical body orbiting a star or Stellar evolution#Stellar remnants, stellar remnant that is massive enough to be Hydrostatic equilibrium, rounded by its own gravity ...
and 33%
South South is one of the cardinal directions or compass points. South is the opposite of north and is perpendicular to the east and west. Etymology The word ''south'' comes from Old English ''sūþ'', from earlier Proto-Germanic language, Proto-Germa ...
. 28% identified themselves as liberal, 27% conservative, and 36% moderate. 51% of all viewers are 18–44 years old.


Public and media opinion

A 2009 C-SPAN survey of viewers found that the network's most-valued attribute was its balanced programming. The survey's respondents were a mixed group, with 31% describing themselves as "
liberal Liberal or liberalism may refer to: Politics *a supporter of liberalism, a political and moral philosophy **Liberalism by country *an adherent of a Liberal Party Arts, entertainment and media *''El Liberal'', a Spanish newspaper published betw ...
," while 28% described themselves as "
conservative Conservatism is an aesthetic Aesthetics, or esthetics (), is a branch of philosophy that deals with the nature of beauty and taste (sociology), taste, as well as the philosophy of art (its own area of philosophy that comes out of aest ...
", and the survey found that C-SPAN viewers are an equal mixture of men and women of all age groups. C-SPAN's public service nature has been praised as an enduring contribution to national knowledge. In 1987, Andrew Rosenthal wrote for ''
The New York Times ''The New York Times'' is an American daily newspaper based in New York City with a worldwide readership. Founded in 1851, the ''Times'' has since won List of Pulitzer Prizes awarded to The New York Times, 132 Pulitzer Prizes, the most of a ...

The New York Times
'' about C-SPAN's influence in political elections, arguing that C-SPAN's "blanket coverage" had expanded television journalism "into areas once shielded from general view". The network has received positive media coverage for providing public access to proceedings such as the
Goldman Sachs The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. () is an American multinational investment bank and financial services company headquartered in New York City. It offers services in investment management, securities, asset management, prime brokerage Prime ...

Goldman Sachs
Senate hearings, and the U.S. 2010 Healthcare Summit, while its everyday programming has been credited with providing the media and the general public with an intimate knowledge of U.S. political proceedings and people. The ability of C-SPAN to provide this service without federal funding, advertising or soliciting viewer contributions has been remarked by local newspapers and online news services, with the ''
Daily Beast ''The Daily Beast'' is an American news website focused on politics, media, and pop culture, founded in 2008. It has been characterized as a "high-end Tabloid journalism, tabloid" by Noah Shachtman, the site's editor-in-chief from 2018 to 2 ...
'' terming C-SPAN's $55 million annual budget (in 2009), "an astounding bargain." In an article on the 25th anniversary of the network, ''
The Washington Post ''The Washington Post'' (also known as the ''Post'' and, informally, ''WaPo'') is an American published in It is the most-widely circulated newspaper within the , and has a large national audience. Daily editions are printed for D.C., , and ...

The Washington Post
'' noted that C-SPAN's programming has been copied by television networks worldwide and credits the network with providing information about foreign politics to American viewers. According to ''The New York Times'', C-SPAN's mission to record official events in Washington, D.C. makes it "one of a kind", particularly in the creation of the C-SPAN Video Library, which received significant press coverage. Despite its stated commitment to providing politically balanced programming, C-SPAN and its shows such as ''Washington Journal'', ''Booknotes'', ''Q & A'', and ''After Words'' have been accused by some liberal organizations of having a conservative bias. In 2005, the media criticism organization
Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting (FAIR) is a Media studies, media critique organization based in New York City. The organization was founded in 1986 by Jeff Cohen (media critic), Jeff Cohen and Martin A. Lee. FAIR describes itself as "the national ...
(FAIR) released a study of C-SPAN's morning telephone call-in show ''Washington Journal''. In their six-month sample of guests, they identified 32 as "right-of-center" and 19 as "left-of-center"; they also noted
people of color The term "person of color" (plural: people of color or persons of color; sometimes abbreviated POC) is primarily used to describe any person who is not considered "white White is the lightest color and is achromatic (having no hue). It is ...
are underrepresented at 15% of the guest list. A 2007 survey released by the think tank
Center for Economic and Policy Research The Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) is an economic policy The economic policy of governments covers the systems for setting levels of taxation, government budgets, the money supply and interest rates as well as the labour mark ...
reported that C-SPAN covered conservative
think tank A think tank, or policy institute, is a research institute A research institute, research centre, or research center is an establishment founded for doing research Research is "creativity, creative and systematic work undertaken to incre ...
s more than left-of-center think tanks.


Must-carry

In 1992, Congress passed
must-carry In cable television, governments apply a must-carry regulation stating that locally licensed television stations must be carried on a cable provider's system. North America Canada Under current Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications ...
regulations, which required cable carriers to allocate spectrum to local broadcasters. This affected the availability of C-SPAN in some areas, in particular C-SPAN2, as some providers chose to discontinue carriage of the channel altogether. Between 1993 and 1994, cable systems in 95 U.S. cities dropped or reduced broadcasts of C-SPAN and C-SPAN2, following the implementation of the must-carry regulations. Viewers protested these decisions, especially when the changes coincided with matters of local interest occurring in the House or Senate. Some communities, such as
Eugene, Oregon Eugene ( ) is a city in the U.S. state In the United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is a country Contiguous United States, primarily located in North America. ...

Eugene, Oregon
and
Alexandria, Virginia Alexandria is an independent city An independent city or independent town is a city or town that does not form part of another general-purpose local government entity (such as a province). Historical precursors In the Holy Roman Empire ...

Alexandria, Virginia
, were successful in restoring C-SPAN availability. C-SPAN availability was later restored as technological developments that resulted in the expansion of channel capacity on cable providers allowed for mandatory stations and the C-SPAN networks both to be broadcast.


Other services

C-SPAN offers a number of public services related to the network's public affairs programming. C-SPAN Classroom, a free membership service for teachers, began in July 1987 and offers help using C-SPAN resources for classes or research. The C-SPAN School Bus, introduced in November 1993, traveled around the U.S. educating the public about government and politics using C-SPAN resources, and served as a mobile television studio. The bus also recorded video footage of the places that it visited. A second bus was introduced in 1996. The two original buses were retired in 2010, and the C-SPAN Digital Bus was inaugurated, introducing the public to C-SPAN's enhanced digital products. C-SPAN has also equipped six Local Content Vehicles (LCVs) to travel the country and record unique political and historical stories, with each vehicle containing production and web-based technologies to produce on-the-spot content. C-SPAN has published ten books based on its programming; these contain original material and text taken from interview transcripts. The first C-SPAN book, ''C-SPAN: America's Town Hall'', was published in 1988. Other C-SPAN books include: ''Gavel to Gavel: A C-SPAN Guide to Congress''; ''Who's Buried in Grant's Tomb?'', a guide to the grave sites of U.S. presidents; ''Abraham Lincoln - Great American Historians On Our Sixteenth President'', a collection of essays based on C-SPAN interviews with American historians; and ''The Supreme Court'', which features biographies and interviews with past Supreme Court judges together with commentary from legal experts. Five books have been drawn from the former ''Booknotes'' program: ''Booknotes: Life Stories''; ''Booknotes: On American Character''; ''Booknotes: Stories from American History''; ''Booknotes: America's Finest Authors on Reading, Writing and the Power of Ideas'', the latter a compilation of short monologues taken from the transcripts of Lamb's interviews; and a companion book to the series on Tocqueville, ''Traveling Tocqueville's America: A Tour Book''.


See also

* Public, educational, and government access * Legislature broadcaster


References


External links

*
C-SPAN records repository
at
George Mason University George Mason University (Mason, GMU, George Mason) is a Public university, public research university flagshiped in Fairfax County, Virginia with four campuses throughout Northern Virginia and one campus in South Korea. Established in 1957 as the ...

George Mason University
{{Authority control 1979 establishments in Washington, D.C. Television networks in the United States Commercial-free television networks in the United States
English-language television stations in the United StatesTelevision channel A television channel is a terrestrial frequency or virtual number over which a television station or television network is distributed. For example, in North America North America is a continent entirely within t ...
Legislature broadcasters in the United States Mass media companies based in Washington, D.C. Non-profit organizations based in Washington, D.C. Peabody Award winners Television channels and stations established in 1979