Ofcom has today approved the format change of North London’s AM service, which currently broadcasts Love Sport. The service will switch to Asian Urban music brand, Asian FX.
As a part of the format change request, Ofcom is obliged to carry out a public consultation. After a two-month process, Ofcom today agreed that it can change the format to a service targeting “young British Asians aged 15-44 featuring the music of British Asian artists and the latest/classic Bollywood tracks and world music.”
During the consultation period, Ofcom received two responses both of whom wished to remain anonymous – one person agreed to the service change and the other opposed it. The second respondent observed that in their view it “would reduce choice.” It added, “Love Sport gives an alternative to BBC Radio 5 Live and TalkSport for sports fans and by getting rid of Love Sport this would reduce choice. There are already a number of Asian stations available as well as stations that cater to various BAME audiences. Looking at the list of stations available in the area specified there are already Asian stations available such as Lyca Dil Se, Lyca Radio and Sunrise Radio but there is no mention of sports stations on the list.”
Ofcom considered these consultation responses, it said that Ofcom remains of the view that it satisfied in relation to criterion (b) of Section 106(1A), as it do not consider that there will be a narrowing of the range of programming (in relation to local analogue radio services) available to listeners in North London given the loss in relation to the range of sports programmes on relevant independent radio services in North London is balanced by a comparable increase in the range of services for younger Asian listeners in the same area.
Reacting to the news, Surjit Singh Ghuman MBE, Managing Director, Panjab Radio & Asian FX said, “This news is not only exciting for us but a game changer for young Asians that have been seeking an alternative to current Asian radio stations in London. With our new frequency, we’ll give young Asians content that is made for them and made by them. Asian FX has been a long-running brand but now its time to take it to another level. Watch this space on 1584AM in North London.”
Asian FX, which also broadcasts on DAB in London, will soon be available on 1584AM in North London. Its sister station, Panjab Radio recently took over 558AM across Greater London.