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C-SPAN (the Cable-Satellite Public Affairs Network) was the first United States cable television network dedicated to 24-hour coverage of government and public affairs. C-SPAN features live coverage of the House of Representatives. The companion channel C-SPAN2 covers the Senate, while C-SPAN3 covers other live events.

The bulk of C-SPAN's operations are located on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., but they also maintain archives on the campus of Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana.



Brian Lamb, C-SPAN's chairman and CEO, conceived of C-SPAN while working at the Cablevision company. It was created as a cable-industry financed, non-profit network for televising sessions of the US Congress. It receives no funding from any government source and does not sell sponsorships or advertising. The neutrality and lack of bias in its public affairs coverage is widely recognized.

C-SPAN first went on the air on March 19, 1979. C-SPAN 2, a spinoff network, covers all live sessions of the U.S. Senate and went on the air on June 2, 1986, with the original channel then focusing on the House. The latest spinoff, C-SPAN 3, began broadcasting on January 22, 2001, and shows other government-related live events along with historical programming from C-SPAN's archives.

On October 9, 1997, C-SPAN launched C-SPAN Radio which broadcasts on WCSP 90.1 FM in Washington, DC. The radio station, which also broadcasts on the XM and Sirius satellite radio systems, covers similar events as its sister TV networks, often simulcasting their programming.


The three channels air government hearings, press conferences and meetings of various political, media, and non-profit organizations; book discussions, interviews, and occasionally proceedings of the Canadian Parliament, British Parliament, and other governments when they discuss matters of importance to viewers in the U.S. Similarly, the networks will sometimes carry news reports from around the world when major events occur. Newscasts and other broadcasts in foreign languages are dubbed into English.

C-SPAN has submitted requests to air live United States Supreme Court proceedings, but has always been denied camera access. However, the network has aired audio tapes of the Court in session and has covered individual Supreme Court justices' speaking engagements.

All of C-SPAN's live feeds and much recorded video are available live free of charge on its world wide web site.


Almost unique for a television network, C-SPAN is operated as a non-profit organization by the National Cable Satellite Corp. whose board of directors consists primarily of representatives of the largest cable companies. C-SPAN accepts no advertising, instead receiving nearly all its funding from subscriber fees charged to cable and DBS operators. Contrary to popular perception, C-SPAN receives no funding from government sources.

Past chairmen


See also

External links

de:Cable-Satellite Public Affairs Network


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