How Much Donated Air Time Has Media Given To COVID-19 PSAs?


WASHINGTON, D.C. – Local radio and TV stations across the U.S. have donated airtime estimated at more than $42 million for a public service announcement (PSA) campaign on COVID-19 since the initiative’s March 12 launch.

That’s according to the NAB, which says that upward of 175,000 PSAs, aimed at helping educate Americans about preventing the spread of the virus, have aired on broadcast TV and radio.

“The response from America’s local broadcasters to this extraordinary crisis is truly incredible,” said NAB President/CEO Gordon Smith. “From donating unprecedented airtime for PSAs to promoting struggling small businesses to covering the latest public health developments, I am so proud of radio and TV broadcasters for their support of local communities. As our nation faces these challenging times, broadcasters will continue serving as ‘first informers’ by reporting, comforting and educating.”

The PSA effort is part of a Coronavirus Response Toolkit, an online resource to help broadcast radio and TV stations accurately cover the coronavirus disease and prepare for the impact on their staff, community and businesses.

NAB also recently launched a compilation of stories about broadcasters’ efforts to support local small businesses facing hardships.

In addition to NAB’s PSA campaign, many broadcast TV and radio stations have produced and aired their own public service ads, which are not included in the statistics announced today. Also not included are airings of PSAs produced by Ad Council in partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai previously commended broadcasters on the PSA campaign and their efforts to educate the public about COVID-19.

Republicans on the House Energy & Commerce Committee also praised the broadcast industry’s education efforts.