The BBC Asian Network’s future will come under scrutiny after the corporation admitted that the station is being reviewed.
A BBC spokesperson told BizAsia.co.uk, “All the services are being reviewed at the moment and as Mark Thompson has said we will announce the review at the end of February.”
The corporation is assessing all its digital TV and radio operations as part of a wide-ranging strategic review of all activities and output by director general Mark Thompson. It is expected to lead to cuts in content and some kinds of programmes.
In the last listener figures the BBC Asian Network lost over 60,000 listeners, a 15% drop from the previous quarter.
According to MediaGuardian, Caroline Thomson, the BBC’s chief operating officer told the House of Lords communications committee inquiry into digital TV and radio switchover that “one of the difficulties of the Asian service is its concept. It broadcasts in a number of different languages to an audience that varies from younger to older [listeners].
She continued: “It is trying to cater for many disparate groups simultaneously. We are wrestling with how to best serve this audience and whether one whole network is the right way to do it. It is something we are looking at.”
Last year, London’s Evening Standard reported that the station was facing closure after losing a fifth of its listeners despite spending more than 25million in two years. The BBC went on to deny this.
The next official audience figures, for the last three months of 2009, will be published tomorrow and you can see how BBC Asian Network did on BizAsia.co.uk.