A Punjabi community radio station has launched in the Sandwell area of Birmingham.

Raaj FM, which won a five-year licence to broadcast on the FM band will specialise in Punjabi infotainment programming.

A spokesman from the station told BizAsia.co.uk that it will be the first Punjabi FM station in the Midlands with Sikh religious shows dominating its schedule. Its ‘Shabad Gurbani’ slot will air daily for a huge nine hours from midnight until 09:00. Furthermore, in the evening, the channel has lined up ‘Rehraas’ and other Sikh recitals from 17:30 until 20:00.

It also added that it had signed deals with various Gurdwaras in the Midlands region to broadcast live ‘Gurbani’ on the station.

Other than religious output, Raaj FM will broadcast discussion shows, music shows including Bhangra, Punjabi Folk and poetry.

Raaj FM is available on 91.3FM and online. Its studios are based in West Bromwich.

It remains to be seen how much of an impact Raaj FM will have on its Birmingham rival Radio XL, commercially. Another Asian community radio station, Ambur Radio, is also set for launch in Walsall, Birmingham, this year.

In Leicester, a Punjabi community radio station – Kohinoor FM commenced broadcasting last month. Again, how much it affects rival station Sabras Radio is something to watch.