The Cable Center Creates Distance Learning Program With C-SPAN and The University of Denver

May 1, 2001

DENVER — The Cable Center announced today that it has formed a partnership with the University of Denver (DU) and C-SPAN to create an innovative, television-based distance learning program at The Cable Center. The project will link DU and eventually other students to Washington, D.C., for courses in political communication using C-SPAN programming. The five-year pilot project is being underwritten by cable pioneer Amos B. Hostetter, Jr.

As part of the project, Hostetter will fund a joint chair between The Cable Center and DU. Dr. John Splaine, an award-winning professor who has taught at the University of Maryland’s School of Education for 32 years, has been named as the first Hostetter Chair of Communication at the University of Denver and The Cable Center. Dr. Splaine has also served as a programming and education consultant to C-SPAN for more than 12 years.

“This innovative Cable Center project combines my interest in higher education with my continuing commitment to the fine work that Brian Lamb and his colleagues do at C-SPAN. I’m also delighted to be associated again with my longtime friends John Splaine and Dan Ritchie, chancellor of the University of Denver,” said Hostetter.

During the project’s first year, Dr. Splaine will develop and teach two accredited courses to DU students based at the Distance Learning Studio of The Cable Center, which is adjacent to the DU campus. By conducting the course from Washington, D.C., Dr. Splaine will be able to invite elected officials, national journalists and policy experts as speakers. He will have access to C-SPAN’s on-location field cameras, as they cover unfolding events, and to C-SPAN’s archives, which contain hundreds of thousands of hours of political programming.

Connected by satellite and high-speed fiber lines, and using broadcast-quality cameras, Dr. Splaine and his students will have a two-way, live communication link. Additionally, high-speed Internet access will allow students and Dr. Splaine to interact online during office hours and exchange course materials.

In later years of the pilot, the partners hope to extend the courses to students on other campuses and to offer them globally via the Internet.

The Cable Center, which opens its permanent Denver home to the public in 2002, incorporates a cutting-edge distance learning laboratory that will be used by students in these courses. C-SPAN plans to build an in-house teaching facility at its Washington, D.C., headquarters equipped with robotic cameras, DVD players, high-speed Internet connections, a fiber connection to Denver and other state-of-the art equipment for use in courses conducted at The Cable Center. In future years, the public affairs cable network plans to offer this facility to other academics teaching courses using C-SPAN programming.

“What makes this project different from other distance learning efforts is the unique assets brought by each of the partners,” said C-SPAN CEO Brian Lamb. “Amos is providing the seed money, DU is contributing the academic framework, The Cable Center’s resources ensure broadcast-quality technology to the students and C-SPAN offers access to Washington unavailable to students elsewhere in the country.”

The courses in this pilot program will examine theories, assumptions, and philosophies about the use of television in political campaigns and the presidency. The program begins during the winter quarter of 2002, with classes being available to University of Denver students during the spring quarter of 2002.

“This is an extraordinary gift and partnership that will open new vistas for students and scholars at the University of Denver and around the world,” said Daniel L. Ritchie, chancellor of the University of Denver.

“One of the primary goals of The Cable Center is to utilize advanced telecommunications technology to develop global education programs,” said Jim O’Brien, president and CEO of The Cable Center. “We consider this project an outstanding first step toward that goal.”

Other programs generated and implemented by The Cable Center include the Julian A. Brodsky Executive-In-Residence Program, which allows leaders in the telecommunications industry to interact with students and faculty of leading universities, the Summer Executive Management Program, and the Barry L. Babcock Endowed Municipal Partnerships and Cable Telecommunications Program, which establishes forums that bring cable operators together with municipal governments.

About the Cable Center

The mission of the Cable Center ( is to develop and actively promote educational, training, and research programs to address issues facing the cable and telecommunications industry on a global basis, including management and business skills development, workforce diversity, the development of breakthrough programming and the communication of the contributions of cable television and its leaders. The Cable Center, which will open its permanent Denver home in 2002, is also dedicated to conserving and displaying the business, history, technology, programming and leaders of the cable industry, and to highlighting the industry’s future role in the ongoing advances of telecommunications.

About C-SPAN

C-SPAN ( was founded in 1979 by the cable television industry as a public service to the nation. C-SPAN, a private, non-profit company, offers round-the-clock television coverage of the political process to more than 80 million U.S. homes subscribing to cable and satellite television, and globally via the Internet. C-SPAN receives no government funding; its operations are funded by fees paid by affiliates for its programming.

About the University of Denver

The University of Denver, the oldest independent university in the Rocky Mountain region, enrolls approximately 9,450 students in its undergraduate, graduate and professional programs. Established in 1864, the University of Denver has a longstanding tradition of learner-centered higher education.