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 represents almost a quarter (24%) of those with a cable or satellite subscription and is 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, C-SPAN's audience 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 Madison Avenue's 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% as "moderate."
The study represents results from 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