The BBC Asian Network has once again outdone commercial rival Sunrise Radio by becoming the most listened to Asian radio station in the UK, second time this year.

According to official radio listening figures from RAJAR for Quarter 3 of 2011, BBC Asian Network shot up to a weekly reach of 507,000 listeners. That۪s an extra 36,000 listeners from the period before.

A resurgent BBC Asian Network has been able to deliver positive results on the back of immense media coverage over the past year, plus the wide exposure it received during Summer Melas and events. On the programming front, it looks like the station’s evening changes have worked with the reduction of time devoted to regional shows and the focus on Hindi/English programming.

Overall, the BBC Asian Network has had an incredible year so far. Even though it had a slight dip in listenership earlier this year, it bounced back last quarter. However, this is the second time the BBC Asian Network has dislodged Sunrise Radio from the top position this year. In Q1/11, the BBC Asian Network had a listenership of 500,000.

Overview of BBC Asian Network

This time last year: 462,000

As it stands now: 507,000

Difference: + 45,000

Sunrise Radio National

Sunrise Radio couldn۪t quite manage to remain at the top but did not see any major changes in its listenership from the previous quarter.

The station delivered a weekly reach of 453,000. It lost 18,000 listeners during this period. However, the station is being listened to longer with listeners tuning in for an average 8.4 hours.

Over the year, it has lost 53,000 listeners, some of these possibly migrating to other stations including the BBC Asian Network, which has grown over the same period.

Overview of Sunrise Radio National

This time last year: 506,000

As it stands now: 453,000

Difference: – 53,000


Listenership of Sunrise Radio in Greater London has come tumbling down this quarter. From 471,000 in Q2 of 2011, Sunrise Radio has now come down to 360,000 listeners, that’s a decline of 111,000 listeners in just the last three months. The station is listened to for an average of 8.9 hours.

Overview of Sunrise Radio London

This time last year: 372,000

As it stands now: 360,000

Difference: – 12,000

Kismat Radio too also faced a downturn in its listenership. Its audience fell from a record high of 182,000 in Q2 of 2011 to 133,000 listeners in Q3 of 2011. In comparison to last year, the station is up by 2,000 extra listeners.

Overview of Kismat Radio

This time last year: 131,000

As it stands now: 133,000

Difference: + 2,000

Lit Corporation’s youth station, Buzz Asia has increased its listenership slightly. It has gained a measly 5,000 new listeners over the past three months. Its weekly reach now stands at 101,000 listeners. If data is compared to last year, Buzz Asia still is underperforming. The station is down by 6,000 listeners۪ year-on-year.

Overview of Buzz Asia

This time last year: 107,000

As it stands now: 101,000

Difference: – 6,000

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.