Cable-Satellite Public Affairs Network (C-SPAN /ˈsiːˌspæn/) 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), C-SPAN2 (focusing on the U.S. Senate), and C-SPAN3 (airing other government hearings and related programming), the radio station WCSP-FM, and a group of websites which provide streaming media 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. and is available throughout the U.S. on SiriusXM via Internet streaming, and globally through apps for iOS and 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, British (including the weekly Prime Minister’s Questions), and Canadian Parliaments, 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, non-profit 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.
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. 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. 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 in 1998 and 1999 as well as the impeachment proceedings of President Trump in 2019 and 2020When. the House or Senate are not in session, C-SPAN channels broadcast other public affairs programming and recordings of previous events.