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C-SPAN (pronounced /ˈsiːspæn/), an abbreviation of Cable-Satellite Public Affairs Network, is an American cable television network owned and operated by the cable industry. It airs non-stop coverage of government proceedings and public affairs programming. C-SPAN does not accept outside advertising; the only commercials aired are for its own programming and products.

C-SPAN operates three television channels, one radio station and several websites that provide streaming media including archives of many C-SPAN programs. The television networks are:

  • C-SPAN which provides uninterrupted live coverage of the United States House of Representatives. Also airs Washington Journal live every morning
  • C-SPAN2 which provides uninterrupted live coverage of the United States Senate. It also airs Book TV on weekends
  • C-SPAN3 which features other uninterrupted live public affairs events and airs a large amount of archived historical programming branded as C-SPAN3 History

Each network since a graphics upgrade in summer of 2010 now has an associated color to the left of their channel's logo to make it easy to differentiate which channel is being watched, with C-SPAN blue, C-SPAN2 red, and CSPAN-3 yellow.

All three channels also air events such as Presidential press conferences and speeches, as well as other government meetings such as Federal Communications Commission hearings and Pentagon press conferences. State events such as the Illinois Senate trial of former Governor Rod Blagojevich were simulcast from Illinois' state public affairs channel. Other state events include Governors' State of the State addresses. International events such as British House of Commons meetings from The UK's BBC Parliament, and Canadian government events and shows from Canada's CPAC are also occasionally aired. Several non-government public affairs events are also featured. Channel usage for all of these events vary by date depending on availability.

The bulk of C-SPAN's operations are located on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., but they also maintain archives in West Lafayette, Indiana at the Purdue Research Park under the direction of Professor Robert X. Browning.


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