C-SPAN Says Online Feed Was "Interrupted" by Russia Today Programming

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"We don't believe that we were hacked," said the programmer.

C-SPAN, the public-service television provider for Beltway programming, says its online feed was "interrupted" on Thursday by programming from Russia Today, a Kremlin-backed network that airs U.S.-centered content.

C-SPAN appeared to be classifying the interruption as an internal issue, rather than an intentional disruption like hacking. 

"On Thursday afternoon one of our online feeds which was carrying C-SPAN's live House telecast was briefly interrupted by a signal carrying the RT network (which we regularly monitor, along with many other news feeds). This did not affect C-SPAN's television broadcast of the House," C-SPAN said in a statement.

The network added: "We don't believe that we were hacked. Instead, our initial investigation suggests that this was caused by an internal routing error. We take our network security very seriously and will continue with a deeper investigation, which may take some time. If we learn anything different as a result of this investigation, we will have a further public statement."

The interruption also arrives as Washington, D.C., has been roiled by a debate over Russian hacking of the Democratic National Committee and its repercussions on the U.S. presidential election. The topic was the main narrative on Wednesday at President-elect Donald Trump's first press conference since his victory in November.

A request for comment from Russia Today wasn't immediately returned. Video of the moment, captured by Deadspin editor Timothy Burke, appears to show a House of Representatives debate being interrupted by RT programming featuring bubbly background music.

Jan. 12, 7:25 pm Updated with new C-SPAN statement with additional detail.