RAJAR: Sunrise Radio & BBC Asian Network

RAJAR: Sunrise Radio & BBC Asian Network
RAJAR: Sunrise Radio & BBC Asian Network

PLEASE NOTE: During this quarter Lyca Media bought Sunrise Radio’s 1458 and 1035AM frequencies. Lyca Media radio stations did not report during this period due to the sale transition. Buzz Asia Limited / Sunrise Radio UK Limited was rebranded to Sunrise Radio and took over London’s 963 and 972AM frequencies.

The BBC Asian Network will be disheartened to hear official listening figures for Q1 of 2014 have proved disastrous for the station. According to data supplied by audience measuring body, RAJAR, the BBC Asian Network lost nearly 200,000 listeners between January and March 2014. This despite the time when the BBC Asian Network had opportunity to grab on to listeners from the troubled Sunrise Radio brand.

In the previous quarter, the BBC Asian Network delivered its biggest ever weekly reach of 668,000 listeners. In fact the station grew continuously each quarter last year. However, the beginning of 2014 has not worked in the favour of the station. Comparatively, the Asian Network has lost 190,000 listeners over the three months ending 30th March 2014. Year-on-year, the BBC Asian Network has lost a disappointing 76,000 listeners. The station’s weekly reach currently stands at 478,000 listeners with listening hours standing at 6.1 – down from 6.8 hours (Q4/13).

The current figures are the worst for the BBC Asian Network in over a year. Last year, the station managed to remain above a weekly reach of 500,000 listeners. In Q4/12, BBC Asian Network delivered a reach of 453,000 listeners.

It’s worth considering the reason behind BBC Asian Network’s loss in this quarter. With not much competition from the London market due to the uncertainty surrounding the Sunrise Radio brand in this period and a marketing campaign in various mediums, the station will no doubt re-visit its strategies and programming.

Overview of BBC Asian Network National

This time last year: 554,000

As it stands now: 478,000

Difference: – 76,000

In quite an eventful time for the Sunrise Radio Group and emergence of Lyca Media’s radio stations, Buzz Asia continued its deal with RAJAR under the Sunrise Radio rebrand on 963 and 972AM. While Buzz Asia ended last year with a reach of 109,000, this time around the station reported a weekly reach of 112,000 – an increase of just 3,000 listeners. The strength of Buzz Asia’s transmission signal is not as powerful as Sunrise Radio’s old frequency 1458AM, hence the smaller audience.

Sunrise Radio on 1458AM and Kismat Radio on 1035AM ended last year (Q4/14) with a weekly reach of 470,000 and 88,000 listeners respectively. New owner, Lyca Media confirmed to BizAsia that it will begin reporting official data from Q2 of 2014.

Overview of Sunrise Radio London

This time last year: 349,000 (as Sunrise Radio not Buzz Asia)

As it stands now: 112,000

Difference: – 237,000

Other UK based Asian radio stations such as Radio XL in Birmingham, Sabras Radio in Leicester, Asian Sound in Manchester and other digital and community Asian radio stations do not subscribe to RAJAR.