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C-SPAN Study: Almost Quarter of Cable/Satellite Subs Watch Weekly

According to a new study commissioned by C-SPAN, at least 47 million people tune in to the public affairs net at least once a week, with young, politically active viewers the largest segment. That 47 million is almost a quarter (24%) of those with a cable or satellite subscription and up 4% from the last quadrennial viewership survey.

The Hart Research survey is being released Tuesday (March 19) in conjunction with C-SPAN's 34th birthday.

According to the demographic breakdown, the is 51% male and 49% female, with 47% of those college graduates.

Viewership is highest among the 18-to-49-year-old demographic, with 28% of those watching at least once a week. That is the key TV sales demo, though C-SPAN remains a commercial-free service of the cable industry.

Not surprisingly, those viewers are politically active, with 89% saying they voted in the last presidential election and over a third saying they have contacted their House or Senate members. And those members span the political spectrum. The study found that 26% of C-SPAN viewers describe themselves as “liberal,” 31% as “conservative,” and 39% “moderate.”

The study was a nationwide phone/Internet survey of 1,229 U.S. consumers with a cable or satellite subscriptions or who access video over the Internet. The study was conducted Jan.10-17.

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.