C-SPAN

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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, 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 not solicit donations or pledges. The network operates independently, and neither the cable industry nor Congress has control of its programming content.

Development

Brian Lamb, C-SPAN's chairman and former chief executive officer, conceived C-SPAN in 1975 while working as the Washington, D.C., bureau chief of the cable industry trade magazine Cablevision.[2] It was a time of rapid growth in the number of cable television channels available in the United States.[3] Lamb envisioned a cable-industry financed nonprofit network for televising sessions of the U.S. Congress, other public affairs events, and policy discussions.[4][5] 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,[3][6] 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 in 1980,[9] 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 "[do] 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 representative Al Gore.[11][12] Upon its debut, only 3.5 million homes were wired for C-SPAN,[13] 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 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.[15] The second C-SPAN channel, C-SPAN2, followed on June 2, 1986 when the U.S. Senate permitted itself to be televised. It began full-time operations on January 5, 1987.[16][17][18] C-SPAN3, the most recent expansion channel, began full-time operations on January 22, 2001,[18] 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 Monday through Friday. C-SPAN Radio began operations on October 9, 1997, covering similar events as the television networks and often simulcasting their programming. The station broadcasts on WCSP-FM (90.1 MHz) in Washington, D.C., is also available on XM Satellite Radio channel 120 and is streamed live at c-span.org. It was formerly available on Sirius Satellite Radio 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. 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.[24] C-SPAN announced that they were troubleshooting the incident and were "operating under the assumption that it was an internal routing issue."

Television

BBC News is responsible for the news programmes and documentary content on the BBC's general television channels, as well as the news coverage on the BBC News Channel in the UK, and 22 hours of programming for the corporation's international BBC World News channel.[citation needed] Coverage for BBC Parliament is carried out on behalf of the BBC at Millbank Studios, though BBC News provides editorial and journalistic content. BBC News content is also output onto the BBC's digital interactive television services under the BBC Red Button brand, and until 2012, on the Ceefax teletext system. The music on all BBC television news programmes was introduced in 1999 and composed by David Lowe. It was part of the re-branding which commenced in 1999 and features 'BBC Pips'. The general theme was used on bulletins on BBC One, News 24, BBC World and local news programmes in the BBC's Nations and Regions. Lowe was also responsible for the music on Radio One's Newsbeat. The theme has had several changes since 1999, the latest in March 2013. The BBC Arabic Television news channel launched on 11 March 2008, a Persian-language channel followed on 14 January 2009, broadcasting from the Peel wing of Broadcasting House; both include news, analysis, interviews, sports and highly cultural programmes and are run by the BBC World Service and funded from a grant-in-aid from the British Foreign Office (and not the television licence).

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.[26] Five years later, the series American Presidents: Life Portraits, which won a Peabody Award, served as a year-long observation of C-SPAN's 20th anniversary. Sen. Robert Byrd (right), C-SPAN's founder Brian Lamb (left) and Paul FitzPatrick flip the switch for C-SPAN2 on June 2, 1986. FitzPatrick was C-SPAN president at the time. 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 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

CC-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. In December 2009, Lamb wrote to leaders in the House and Senate, requesting that negotiations for health care reform 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.[33] In November 2010, Lamb wrote to incoming House Speaker John Boehner requesting changes to restrictions on cameras in the House.[34] 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 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 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 and Facebook Live during a sit-in by House Democrats asking for a vote on gun control measures after the Orlando nightclub shooting. 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 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.