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Broadcasters Generated $9.6 Billion In 2003 Public ServiceResults of NAB's fourth industry census of community service announced (June 15, 2004)
Commercial radio and television stations generated $9.6 billion in public service in 2003, through a combination of airtime donated for public service announcements (PSAs) and money raised for charity and disaster relief, the National Association of Broadcasters announced today.
Results of NAB's fourth industry census of community service were released at the NAB Education Foundation's 6th Annual Service to America Summit, where local radio and television stations were honored for exemplary public service. The $9.6 billion figure is slightly down from the $9.9 billion in public service generated in 2001, because that year's survey included approximately $1 billion generated specifically for relief related to the disaster of September 11. The 2003 total surpassed the $8.1 billion in public service generated by broadcasters in 1999, and $6.8 billion in 1997.
"This census confirms again that local, over-the-air radio and television stations are collectively the number one provider of public service in America," said NAB President & CEO Edward O. Fritts. "Local broadcasters can stand proud for the enormous pro-social contributions stations make in bettering the lives of listeners and viewers."
The $9.6 billion contribution was derived from an industry census sent earlier this year to more than 11,000 full-power commercial radio and television stations. Broadcasters were asked to document from Jan. 1 - Dec. 31, 2003 the number of PSAs they aired, the amount of money raised for charity through direct station fundraising appeals, and funds raised for disaster relief.
Thousands of broadcast stations all over America participated in the census. Participation was boosted through the efforts of all 50 state broadcast associations. Responses to the census were collected and tabulated by Public Opinion Strategies (POS), an Alexandria, VA-based polling firm. "Through these four studies since 1997, we have employed a consistent, standard methodology which allows us to make a precise estimate of the change in public service activity by broadcasters with a high degree of confidence in the findings," said POS Partner Bill McInturff.
Broadcasters were specifically instructed not to include in the census the value of certain endeavors. Not included in the census were PSAs from groups like the Office of National Drug Control Policy that may have involved in-kind contributions or partial payment to stations. Nor did broadcasters include the value of ad revenue lost when stations carried breaking news stories related to natural disasters, or advertising lost from breaking weather emergencies.
The census also did not include the value of public service at the broadcast network level, or the hourly value of broadcast station personnel participating in community charity events such as AIDS fundraising walks, breast cancer fundraising drives, and Toys for Tots campaigns.
"This is a census based solely on local station public service," said Fritts. "It is painstakingly accurate and exceedingly conservative."
Key findings in the census show that:
* Local radio stations aired on average 195 PSAs per week, while local television stations aired 143 PSAs per week;
* The value of PSA airtime was based on a "run of schedule" rate, which is one of the least expensive rates charged to commercial clients; and
* Fully 65% of all radio PSAs and 56% of all television PSAS focused on local issues of importance to the stations' communities.
Key nationwide charity beneficiaries of broadcast public service included ALSAC/St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, American Cancer Society, the American Heart Association, the American Red Cross, Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, Children's Miracle Network, Make-A-Wish Foundation, March of Dimes, Muscular Dystrophy Association, Salvation Army, Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, Toys for Tots and United Way.
NAB today issued a National Report on Broadcasters' Community Service outlining details behind the $9.6 billion figure. Included in the report are hundreds of acts of public service taken by broadcasters to improve communities across America. The report is available at www.broadcastpublicservice.org.
The National Association of Broadcasters is a full-service trade association that promotes and protects free, over-the-air local radio and television stations' interests in Washington and around the world. NAB is the broadcaster's voice before Congress, federal agencies and the courts. NAB also serves a growing number of associate and international broadcaster members. Information about NAB can be found at www.nab.org.
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