Recurrent outbreaks of novel zoonotic coronavirus (CoV) diseases since 2000 have high-lighted the importance of developing therapeutics with broad-spectrum activity against CoVs. Because all CoVs use −1 programmed ribosomal frameshifting (−1 PRF) to control expression of key viral proteins, the frameshift signal in viral mRNA that stimulates −1 PRF provides a promising potential target for such therapeutics. To test the viability of this strategy, we explored a group of 6 small-molecule ligands, evaluating their activity against the frameshift signals from a panel of representative bat CoVs—the most likely source of future zoonoses—as well as SARS-CoV-2 and MERS-CoV. We found that whereas some ligands had notable activity against only a few of the frameshift signals, the serine protease inhibitor nafamostat suppressed −1 PRF significantly in several of them, while having limited to no effect on −1 PRF caused by frameshift signals from other viruses used as negative controls. These results suggest it is possible to find small-molecule ligands that inhibit −1 PRF specifically in a broad spectrum of CoVs, establishing the frameshift signal as a viable target for developing pan-coronaviral therapeutics.