40 Facts About C-SPAN


C-SPAN televises occasional proceedings of the Australian, British, and Canadian parliaments, as well as other major events worldwide.

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C-SPAN is a private, nonprofit organization funded by its cable and satellite affiliates, and it does not have advertisements on any of its networks, radio stations, or websites, nor does it solicit donations or pledges.

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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 representative Al Gore.

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On February 1,1982, C-SPAN launched its own transponder and expanded its schedule to 16 hours a day.

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C-SPAN Radio began operations on October 9,1997, covering similar events as the television networks and often simulcasting their programming.

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On January 12,2017, the online feed for C-SPAN1 was interrupted and replaced by a feed from the Russian television network RT America for approximately 10 minutes.

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C-SPAN celebrated its 10th anniversary in 1989 with a three-hour retrospective, featuring Lamb recalling the development of the network.

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Also included in the 25th anniversary was an essay contest for viewers to write in about how C-SPAN had influenced their life regarding community service.

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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.

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In particular, C-SPAN asked to add some of its own robotically operated cameras to the existing government-controlled cameras in the House chamber.

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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 and Facebook Live during a sit-in by House Democrats asking for a vote on gun control measures after the Orlando nightclub shooting.

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C-SPAN began promoting audience interaction early in its history, by the regular incorporation of viewer telephone calls in its programming.

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In 2010, C-SPAN began a transition to high definition telecasts, planned to take place over an 18-month period.

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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 in 1998 and 1999 as well as the impeachment proceedings of President Trump in 2019 and 2020.

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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.

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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".

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C-SPAN covers lying in state in the Capitol Rotunda and funerals of former presidents and other notable individuals.

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In 2005, C-SPAN covered Hurricane Katrina through NBC affiliate WDSU in New Orleans, as well as coverage of Hurricane Ike via CBS affiliate KHOU in Houston.

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C-SPAN carries CBC coverage during events that affect Canadians, such as the Canadian federal elections, the death and state funeral of Pierre Trudeau, and the 2003 North America blackout.

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For example, in 2004 C-SPAN intended to televise a speech by Holocaust historian Deborah Lipstadt adjacent to a speech by Holocaust denier David Irving, who had unsuccessfully sued Lipstadt for libel in the 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.

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C-SPAN covers floor proceedings of the House of Representatives, while C-SPAN 2 covers floor proceedings of the Senate.

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On weekends, C-SPAN2 dedicates its schedule to Book TV, which is 48 hours of programming about non-fiction books, book events, and authors.

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C-SPAN 3 covers public affairs events, congressional hearings and history programming.

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In 2009, C-SPAN3 aired an eight-installment series of interviews from the Robert J Dole Institute of Politics at the University of Kansas, which featured historian Richard Norton Smith and Vice President Walter Mondale, among other interviewees.

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C-SPAN has occasionally produced spinoff programs from Booknotes focusing on specific topics.

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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.

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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's 1972 trip to China, is available as well.

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C-SPAN engaged in actions to stop parties from making unauthorized uses of its content online, including its video of House and Senate proceedings.

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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.

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C-SPAN brought back the Convention Hub for the 2012 presidential election.

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C-SPAN is operated by the National Cable Satellite Corporation, a nonprofit organization, the board of directors of which consists primarily of representatives of the largest cable companies.

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Early chairmen of C-SPAN include Bob Rosencrans, John Saeman, Ed Allen and Gene Schneider.

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C-SPAN began airing internet commercials early in 2021 and offering C-SPAN-themed clothing though not soliciting donations on air; nonetheless, as a non-commercial public service, it receives most of its funding from subscriber fees charged to cable and direct-broadcast satellite operators.

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The majority of C-SPAN's employees are based at C-SPAN's headquarters located on Capitol Hill in Washington, D C ; however, in 2003 television studios were opened in New York City and Denver, Colorado.

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C-SPAN maintains archives in West Lafayette, Indiana at the Purdue Research Park under the direction of Dr Robert X Browning.

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C-SPAN networks are available in more than 100 million households as of 2010, not including access to the C-SPAN websites.

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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.

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C-SPAN offers a number of public services related to the network's public affairs programming.

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C-SPAN has equipped six Local Content Vehicles 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.

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C-SPAN has published ten books based on its programming; these contain original material and text taken from interview transcripts.

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