FAQs

C-SPAN

What is C-SPAN?

C-SPAN is a multi-platform public service with offerings on television, online, radio and social media. It is a private, nonprofit organization created in 1979 by the cable television industry to provide long-form, unfiltered and balanced public affairs programming. C-SPAN receives no government funding, funding comes through license fees paid by television providers — the cable and satellite companies that offer C-SPAN to their customers as a public service — and through advertisements on our digital platforms. C-SPAN's mission is to provide our audience with access to the live, gavel-to-gavel proceedings of the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate, and to the other forums where public policy is discussed, debated and decided — all without editing, commentary or analysis, and with a balanced presentation of points of view.

With three television networks,

  • C-SPAN covers the House of Representatives,
  • C-SPAN2 covers the Senate and on the weekends becomes Book TV,
  • and C-SPAN3 provides additional public affairs programming — including press briefings, congressional hearings and speeches — and on the weekends becomes American History TV.

Beyond the three television networks, platforms include C-SPAN.org, the C-SPAN Radio app, a robust presence on social media and informative newsletters.

How does C-SPAN decide what events to cover?
All programming decisions are made by C-SPAN's editorial team. Sponsoring organizations can submit events by calling 202-737-3220 or emailing events@c-span.org.
Where can I find the C-SPAN schedule?
C-SPAN's schedule can be found on our schedule page, in the schedule section of the C-SPAN Radio app, through your television provider's program guide or by following @CSPANnow on Twitter.
Why does C-SPAN take viewer calls?
One of C-SPAN's founding philosophies was focusing on the viewer and, through our call-in programs, viewers are able to interact directly with elected officials, policymakers and journalists. In addition to our daily call-in program, the Washington Journal, C-SPAN regularly incorporates viewer call-ins into the schedule to allow people to react to breaking news events. For more information on the details of the Washington Journal, visit www.c-span.org/washingtonjournal and click on FAQs.
How can I recommend an author for Book TV?
To recommend an author or event for Book TV to cover, please email booktv@c-span.org.
Why doesn't my TV provider carry C-SPAN3 or C-SPAN in HD?
C-SPAN works hard to get all three networks in HD carried in HD on all television providers. If your provider does not provide a channel or does not carry C-SPAN in HD, please call your television provider and let them know that, as a customer, you would like it to be added to your lineup.
What are some C-SPAN highlights through the years?
To see highlights from the beginning of C-SPAN through today, please visit our Milestones page.
How does C-SPAN support the community?
C-SPAN visits your community in a variety of ways. The C-SPAN Bus attends events across the country, including book festivals, education conferences and political gatherings. The Cities Tour travels the nation capturing unique stories on the history and literary life of cities. For more information on a Bus visit or the Cities Tour, visit C-SPAN in the Community.
Does C-SPAN sell merchandise?
Yes! Show your pride as a C-SPAN viewer with a wide variety of merchandise — coffee mugs, apparel, bumper stickers and more — available at the C-SPAN Store.
Does C-SPAN choose the advertisers that I see or endorse the products and services advertised on C-SPAN.org?
The ads that appear on C-SPAN.org are from a Google service that attempts to present ads relevant to your interests. C-SPAN is paid a fee when ads are viewed on the website, but does not endorse or recommend the companies, organizations, products and/or services presented in the ads. While we don't choose which ads you see, we are very mindful of C-SPAN's reputation as a neutral and trusted news source and for now restrict certain categories, including politics-, policy- or cause-related advertising on all platforms. You can learn more about the technology behind the ads and how you can control the information collected by Google here.
Why is my on-screen schedule guide inaccurate?
C-SPAN works hard to provide the most up-to-date schedule information to the companies who send schedule data to each television. Due to the nature of news programming, we aren't always able to schedule our programming far in advance. If there's a difference between the schedule on your set and the one published at C-SPAN.org/schedule, it is likely that C-SPAN didn't schedule the program until close to air time, thus not affording the system enough time to process the data.

Funding

How is C-SPAN funded?
C-SPAN is a private, nonprofit organization created in 1979 by the cable television industry as a public service; we do not receive any money from the federal government. C-SPAN's funding has always come through license fees paid by television providers — the cable and satellite companies that offer C-SPAN's television networks to their customers as a public service. That business is changing and so in some ways C-SPAN will have to change too. With cord-cutting and fewer Americans subscribing to cable or satellite TV, we must find new sources of revenue that support our business model. You'll now find limited advertising on our digital platforms — online and on podcasts.
Why am I seeing advertising on C-SPAN platforms?
By rolling out limited advertising on our digital platforms, including YouTube, podcasts and C-SPAN.org, we are diversifying our revenue streams in ways that don't conflict with our mission and still allow the cable and satellite companies to offer C-SPAN to their customers as a public service. Any revenue made from this will help support C-SPAN operations, allowing us to continue our mission to provide the long-form, unfiltered coverage of public events that you and so many others enjoy.
Does C-SPAN choose the advertisers that I see or endorse the products and services advertised on C-SPAN.org?
No. The ads that appear on the site are from a Google service that attempts to present ads relevant to your interests. C-SPAN is paid a fee when ads are viewed on the website, but does not endorse or recommend the companies, organizations, products and/or services presented in the ads. You can learn more about the technology behind the ads and how you can control the information collected by Google here.

Online

What is the C-SPAN Video Library?
The C-SPAN Video Library is an archive of all programming that has aired on C-SPAN since 1987. Type into the search bar at the top of any page on C-SPAN.org to search for programs, dates, people and events to watch, clip and share.
What if I miss a program on TV?
All C-SPAN television programs are available on C-SPAN.org, archived in the C-SPAN Video Library for free on-demand viewing anytime.
How can I watch live events on C-SPAN.org?
For full details on our online access to C-SPAN programming click here.
Why am I having problems verifying my television credentials on the Live TV page with Safari?
To watch a live stream of any of the three C-SPAN Networks, you need to log in with the credentials provided by your television provider. If you are having trouble logging on, you need to make sure that cookies are enabled in your browser before you sign in. Safari (on both desktop and mobile devices) blocks cookies from some third-parties by default, which interferes with the sign-in process for some television providers. If you are having trouble signing in with your television provider when using Safari, you may need to change the "Prevent cross-site tracking" and "Block all cookies" settings in Safari. Be aware that making this change will impact other websites you visit. For desktops running Safari, open Safari Preferences, click the "Privacy" tab, and confirm that the options for "Prevent cross-site tracking" and "Block all cookies" are unchecked. For iOS devices, navigate to the device settings menu, select "Safari," locate the "Privacy & Security" section, and confirm that the options for "Prevent cross-site tracking" and "Block all cookies" are disabled.
How do I license C-SPAN footage?
Please visit the Copyright and Licensing Page to see the requirements for licensing C-SPAN footage.
How can I obtain transcripts of C-SPAN shows?
The C-SPAN Video Library uses closed captioning as an aid to searching the video, but does not provide copies of the transcripts. We recommend that you contact the speaker, organization sponsoring the event or committee directly to inquire about transcripts. We do attach official House and Senate floor and White House transcripts.
How can I flag a video as having an issue?
If you find an audio or visual issue with a program, click on the "Report Video Issue" in the upper right-hand corner of the page and fill in the form. Flagged videos will be reviewed for issues by our technical staff. If you don't see an improvement, please contact us.
When will a program be available for ordering after my request?
Typically, you can expect the video to be ready in ten minutes plus the length of the requested program or clip. To inquire about the status of your request please contact us.
When will my video be available for download after ordering?
Your video will be available for download immediately after your order is complete.
What size are the downloadable videos?
The downloadable files use variable bitrate encoding. The average bitrate is around 590 kbps or 266 MB per hour.
How do I play my downloaded programs?

Program downloads from the Video Library are in MP4 format. In order to play these downloaded programs, you need to have video playback software on your computer that is compatible with the MP4 format, or you need a media device that can use the MP4 format.

Below is a list of common MP4-compatible software and devices:

  1. VLC Media Player
  2. QuickTime Player
  3. Windows Media Player, with MP4 codecs installed
  4. Apple's portable media devices (iPod, iPhone, iPad).

Keep in mind that this is not a complete list of MP4-compatibility. If your preferred media device or video software is not listed above, please check the specifications of your software or device for MP4 playback availability.