Community Asian radio station, Fever FM (Radio Asian Fever CIC) has been rapped by Ofcom for not fulfilling its ‘Key Commitments’ as a community station during Ramadan.
Ofcom received a complaint that Fever FM was broadcasting Ramadan programming only, and was therefore not delivering its Key Commitments to broadcast to all of the South Asian communities of Leeds.
Fever FM, like other community radio stations are required to deliver the ‘Key Commitments’ which form part of its licence. These set out how the station will serve its target community and include a description of the programme service.
Ofcom noted that the Key Commitments in Fever FM’s licence explicitly permit the station to broadcast “some religious and cultural programming at times of religious significance and cultural celebration”, but that another Key Commitment requires the service to broadcast a range of different types of music across each week.
Ofcom noted that the only music broadcast between 28 May and 4 June 20173 was religious devotional Nasheeds/Na’ats.
The Licensee stated that “during various religious dates, such as Christmas, Easter, Vaisakhi, Ramadhan and Diwali… it changes its normal music output to spiritual music tracks which relates to that particular religion”. Fever FM said that the fact that this is not included in its Key Commitments was an oversight, and that “under normal dates, Fever FM does deliver musical programs throughout the week”.
Ofcom considered that Fever FM was not meeting the Key Commitment relating to its music output which requires the Licensee to broadcast “Bollywood, Lollywood, Indian and Pakistani folk (Punjabi), Bhangra, and Asian Fusion Music” each week. Ofcom’s view is therefore that Fever FM breached Conditions 2(1) and 2(4) of its licence.