Ofcom has today approved the request of Manchester based Asian Sound Radio to use one of its two frequencies for a larger Arabic-Asian output.

Asian Sound Radio broadcasts on 1377AM and 963AM. While the 973AM frequency will remain as it is, it’s 1377AM, which will be tweaked with an increase of Arabic music and programming.

Ofcom said that itdetermined that the request, if granted, would represent a significant change to the character of the station۪s existing service, because it would permit the creation of an entirely new service over a substantial part of its coverage area, with a different target audience to that of the current Asian Sound Radio service.

It was also noted from Asian Sound۪s change request that the current service would continue to be available to listeners in the Manchester area via DAB digital radio, although under existing statute this is not a factor the RLC was able to take account of in its decision, given that section 106(1A)(b) must be satisfied purely with regard to the range of available analogue radio services.

For the purposes of clarity, the Committee agreed to a suggestion from the Ofcom executive that a minor drafting change should be made to the description of the target audience for the new 1377 kHz service. This would replace the proposed Asian Arabic Muslim community۝ with Asian and Arabic Muslim community۝. Asian Sound had agreed prior to the meeting that it would be content for such a change to be made, in the event of the Format change request being approved by the Committee.