Frequently Asked Questions


What is an NCSA?

The Non-Commercial Sustaining Announcement program, sometimes referred to as a Public Education Program (PEP), is intended to help government agencies and nonprofit organizations deliver their important public interest messages effectively and affordably.


Who uses the NCSA program?

The PA Army National Guard uses NCSAs for recruitment advertising. State agencies and governmental entities use NCSAs to promote transportation and highway safety issues/initiatives, health and human services, emergency awareness and preparedness, economic development, tourism, consumer protection and education and many others.


How does the NCSA program work?

Radio and television stations donate airtime to the Pennsylvania Association of Broadcasters (PAB). In exchange for funding, the association makes the airtime available to nonprofits and government agencies, looking to leverage their budget for a state-wide campaign.


How is it different from a PSA?

A public service announcement (PSA) is aired by a station without a monetary commitment, and is therefore aired by the station at its own discretion—if ever. PSAs are an effective and useful campaign approach for organizations who do not have access to funding and who rely solely on a station’s commitment to community service. PSAs do not hold airtime guarantees.


How much does it cost to air an NCSA campaign?

Cost is determined on a case-by-case basis based on two factors: campaign duration and whether you purchase radio, TV or both.


What is the “ideal” NCSA message?

The ideal message is one of importance to a vast majority of people within the state. Those who find NCSA campaigns to be most successful are those who have a cause or message that is important to the state as a whole. It is also important that spots not be considered “issue advertising.” In other words, not pushing a political agenda.


Where and when will NCSA spots be aired?

Virtually all members of the PAB air the NCSA spots. Specific air dates and times cannot be guaranteed, as stations participate voluntarily. However, experience has shown that NCSA spots run throughout the week in the various dayparts.  Overnights, while rare, are not counted towards campaign totals.


Why do stations participate?

NCSA funding enables the PAB to provide services that strengthen the broadcast industry and help stations operate in the public interest. NCSA revenue helps the PAB to subsidize continuing professional education, legal consultation, regulatory compliance programs and other member benefits that many stations could otherwise not afford.


What kind of confirmation is received?

NCSA sponsors receive summary reports of delivery (or airtime reports) from participating member stations. Newly implemented, electronic reporting, allows for quick turnaround on reporting and the ability to see campaign distribution across daypart and DMA.


Does the PAB provide resources to create and distribute the spot(s)?

Yes. The PAB has access to copywriters and radio and television production. The PAB also distributes all NCSA spots and traffic instructions to participating member stations.


How do you find out more?

Contact Carter Wyckoff, Vice President, Sales, via email @ , or call 717.482.4820

Current Campaigns
Traffic Instructions
Public Education Program
Station Reporting
Electronic Invoicing (EDI)