Our three television network feeds (C-SPAN, C-SPAN2 and C-SPAN3) will soon be reserved for cable or satellite TV customers.

Access to all federal government events to all users on all platforms is expanding.

Posted Monday, July 28

Our new online requirement to access the live feeds of the three C-SPAN television channels is now open for early sign-in. If you are a cable or satellite subscriber, please visit the SIGN IN NOW page and register – for free – with your user name and password for online viewing of C-SPAN, C-SPAN2 and C-SPAN3 with enhanced video quality.

Posted Saturday, July 12

C-SPAN is improving our internet presence and adapting some of our digital policies with several goals in mind: First, we're aiming to better serve our online customers with enhanced design, improved video quality, and mobile-friendly distribution. At the same time, we're updating a key digital policy to help preserve C-SPAN's business model in a rapidly-changing video distribution marketplace. All of these changes are part of an effort to safeguard and expand the important public service mission which guides C-SPAN operations.

Here is some of what's happening at C-SPAN.org during 2014.


  • C-SPAN.org has been redesigned to emphasize easier access to the videos of key Washington and public policy events of the day, combined with full access to more than 204,000 hours of past political video from C-SPAN's video library.
  • We've improved search functionality for our video library. We want to make it easier to research, view, clip, and share C-SPAN video - all at no cost, as a public service to you.
  • Now, we are mobile friendly. You can access C-SPAN.org on your smart phone or tablet and watch C-SPAN video on the go.

New Policy:

  • Real-time online access to C-SPAN, C-SPAN2, and C-SPAN3 will soon be available only to verified customers of C-SPAN's cable and satellite affiliates. A simple sign-in on the "Live TV" page of C-SPAN.org with your cable or satellite company credentials is all that's needed to watch any of our three TV channels in real time. (This process is similar to what's now required to access most other "TV Everywhere" programs or channels.)

What's Not Changing:

  • Livestreams of all federal government events covered by C-SPAN will continue to be available online with easy access from our home page - no sign-in necessary. Watch live (or on demand) all House and Senate debates, committee hearings, events from the executive branch, the courts, and election coverage via C-SPAN.org's easy-to-spot highlighted area, "Congress, White House & the Courts," on our homepage.
  • All other C-SPAN programming, including C-SPAN's signature interview programs such as Washington Journal, daily non-government event coverage, and programs from C-SPAN2's BookTV and C-SPAN3's American History TV continue to be accessible without sign-in, on an on demand basis. You'll find them easily through direct links on our home page, or by searching our video library


What is changing on the website and what will I be able to watch online through C-SPAN.org?
Our website has been re-designed to provide higher quality video streams, enhanced search capabilities, and responsive display across platforms and devices. All visitors to C-SPAN.org will continue to have access to live (and on demand) coverage of federal government proceedings and all C-SPAN programs in the Video Library. Soon, C-SPAN will offer the live feeds of the three C-SPAN television channels only with verification of your pay television credentials. Once this policy is in place, the live feeds of our three television channels will be reserved for cable or satellite TV customers.

If I am a cable or satellite TV subscriber how does this affect me?
It doesn't affect you very much. It means only that if you want to watch the live feeds of our three C-SPAN television channels on our website you will have to sign-in to verify that you are a cable or satellite subscriber. If you currently subscribe to cable or satellite and can watch C-SPAN on your TV, you will be able to easily verify your cable or satellite subscription and also watch our TV channels online.

What if I don't subscribe to cable or satellite?
You will still be able to use C-SPAN.org to watch our live coverage of all Federal government events. All visitors to C-SPAN.org will have access to House and Senate debates, committee hearings, Executive Branch events and courts coverage - live and in the clear, without needing to sign-in or verify as a cable or satellite subscriber. You will also continue to have free access to our online Video Library containing more than 204,000 hours of all current and past political video from C-SPAN on demand to watch anytime, anywhere.
As a public service provided by cable and satellite companies, C-SPAN.org will continue to provide easy access, free of charge, to C-SPAN's live coverage of federal government events. Look for them in the Congress, White House and the Courts section, marked in red on the C-SPAN.org homepage. You'll also be able to see all of our C-SPAN networks' programming on demand via the C-SPAN Video Library.

How do I verify my cable or satellite subscription?
Find the "Live TV" icon on C-SPAN.org's home page. When there, please select your cable or satellite provider from the list provided and follow the prompts to proceed to the live streams. You'll need both a customer ID and password from your provider to verify yourself as a customer.

What if my television provider is not among the choices?
For now, please continue to watch the open live streams of C-SPAN’s three television networks. During this pre-registration period, we are continuing to work to include all of our affiliates in our TV Everywhere offering.

Where do I find my username and password?
As a cable or satellite video customer, you likely have already been given an Account Username and Password by your TV provider. If you don't already know yours, visit your provider's website or call their customer service line to get that information.

Will a MyC-SPAN account work for verification?
No. Your MyC-SPAN account allows you to bookmark content, receive email notifications and save your clips on C-SPAN.org. Verification is a separate process confirming your subscription with a C-SPAN affiliate (cable or satellite company).

When will the live television streams require verification?
Sometime during the late summer of 2014.

Is there an additional charge for verifying to watch the C-SPAN TV feeds?
No, there are no additional charges. Live streams of all three C-SPAN television networks will be available at no additional cost to customers who receive C-SPAN as part of their television subscription from a cable or satellite provider.

Will the live C-SPAN television channels still be mobile-friendly?
Yes. All new C-SPAN.org video is designed to be responsive to your desktops, smart phones or tablets. You will be able to watch video on C-SPAN.org in your home, at your office, or on the go - anywhere, anytime.

Why is C-SPAN requiring a cable or satellite subscription to watch your channels online?
Despite some people's misperceptions, C-SPAN does not receive any support from the federal government. Nor do we accept advertising or underwriting. All of our revenue comes from a license fee paid to C-SPAN by the cable and satellite companies that provide our programming services to their video customers. Requiring verification for the live feeds of our three cable channels reserves these channels for customers who are supporting them through their monthly cable or satellite bills. Over time, this policy will enhance what we can provide the general public overall, and helps preserve the important public service mission which guides all C-SPAN operations.

C-SPAN Minimum System Requirements
Flash Minimum Requirements
Desktop: Flash Player 11.2 or higher
Browser Minimum Requirements
  • Desktop - with Flash
    • Firefox 28
    • Chrome 34
    • Internet Explorer 8 (Windows Only)
    • Safari 6 (Mac Only)
  • Mobile
    • iOS
    • Android
OS Minimum Requirements
  • Windows
    Microsoft® Windows® XP (32 bit), Windows Server 2008 (32 bit), Windows Vista® (32 bit), Windows 7 (32 bit and 64 bit), Windows 8 (32 bit and 64 bit), or Windows Server 2012 (64 bit)
  • Mac
    OSX 10.6+
  • Linux
    Red Hat® Enterprise Linux® (RHEL) 5.6 or later (32 bit and 64 bit), openSUSE® 11.3 or later (32 bit and 64 bit), or Ubuntu 10.04 or later (32 bit and 64 bit)
  • iOS
    5.1, 6.1, 7.0+
  • Android
    2.3, 4.1, 4.2, 4.4+