Panjab Radio to expand in London on AM subject to Ofcom approval

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After a couple of exclusive BizAsiaLive.com Whispers, we can now reveal the identity of the station seeking to expand on a London frequency, subject to Ofcom’s consultation process.

Ofcom has today announced that it is consulting on requests from the licence holders of two London-based AM radio stations, Love Sport and Panjab Radio, to change their Formats.

Love Sport has requested to change its Format from a sports-focused speech service, to a service targeting listeners in the Panjabi community. If granted, this would see the station re-branded as Panjab Radio. Panjab Radio has requested to change its service from a service aimed at the Panjabi community, to a sports-focused speech service, which, if approved, would see it re-brand as Love Sport.

Panjab Radio already broadcasts in North London on 1584AM, which means if agreed, Love Sport will broadcast only in that area, while Panjab Radio would become available throughout Greater London on AM.

Panjab Radio was the first Asian digital station to launch in the UK on Sky, followed by presence on regional DAB multiplexes, then a full-on launch nationally on DAB. Despite its specialist programming, Panjab Radio’s latest RAJAR listening figures for Q4/18 stood at 187,000 listeners, compared to Sunrise Radio’s 303,000 listeners and BBC Asian Network’s 527,000 listeners.

Ofcom said that in its preliminary view, it is minded to approve these changes. However considering these requests represent a significant departure from the character of the original services, Ofcom is now inviting views from interested or affected stakeholders before making our final decision. It is expected rival Asian commercial stations Sunrise Radio and Lyca Radio will put in objection to the plans as they both cover some Punjabi programming on their respective stations.

The deadline for the consultation period is on 8th March 2019 at 17:00.

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