RAJAR: BBC Asian Network continues reign in UK


The BBC Asian Network continued to fly high in official listenership figures published by RAJAR for Q4/17.

The popular youth Asian radio station recorded a weekly reach of 661,000 listeners, down by just 1,000 listeners from 662,000 listeners in Q3/17. It was only down by 0.2%, while year-on-year it was up by 4.6%. Its audience during the same time last year stood at 632,000 listeners.

In a further boost to the station, its Breakfast show witnessed a key change after Tommy Sandhu was sacked following a WhatsApp scandal. He was replaced during this period by Harpz Kaur, who started her stint on the flagship show on 23rd October 2017. The next batch of data will give a better indication of how the show’s audience has responded to the changes.

Ben Cooper (Controller BBC Radio 1, 1Xtra & Asian Network) said, “BBC Asian Network continues to evolve with its young audiences with another solid quarter for the station, and I’m delighted for Harpz and the energy and passion she has brought to the Breakfast Show.”

Sunrise Radio National also did well by increasing its audience 13.8%. Year-on-year, Sunrise Radio National was down by 12.6%. The station’s national audience stands at 403,000 listeners, compared to 354,000 viewers in the previous quarter and 461,000 listeners a year ago. Its listening hours were at 5.7 hours, more than the BBC Asian Network, which registered 5.1 listening hours.

Greater London

Sunrise Radio in Greater London was up from 215,000 listeners to 219,000 listeners in this quarter. Its listening hours also grew from 4.2 hours to 5.1 hours. The station continues to outperform rival stations, Lyca Radio and Lyca Dilse with more or less double the audience.

Tony Lit, Sunrise Radio MD commented, “2018 has got off to a great start for Sunrise Radio which remains the UK’s undisputed number 1 commercial Asian radio station and following the release of Rajar Q4 2017 this morning I am pleased with the increase in weekly listeners and weekly listening hours on Q3 for both Sunrise National and Sunrise London. Sunrise London alone has over 95% more weekly listeners than its nearest commercial Asian radio competitor and over 90% more weekly listening hours than its nearest commercial Asian radio competitor. We’ve got some great plans for this year so watch this space.”

Lyca Radio was up quarter-on-quarter from 107,000 listeners to 112,000 listeners. It was the third consecutive increase for the station. Its listening hours were at 5.2 hours, down from 6.9 hours in the previous quarter.

Lyca Dilse slipped from its 93,000 listeners reach in Q3/17 down to 79,000 listeners. Its listening hours also fell from 6.8 hours down to 5.2 hours.

Panjab Radio stayed strong with its specialist programming. Its reach increased from 81,000 listeners to 91,000 listeners in this quarter. Its listening hours stayed steady from 5.6 hours to 5.3 hours.

Surjit Singh Ghuman MBE, MD Panjab Radio commented, “Following the release of Rajar Q4 2017 this morning I’m happy to report that Panjab Radio remains the nation’s favourite Punjabi radio station. Our audience reach is consistent with our core programming seeing very strong audience growth. Even though Panjab Radio is measured for its digital platforms and these figures do not include our 1584AM listenership, our weekly reach is still larger than one of the Asian radio station who are measured on their analogue frequency as well as digitally. Also of the fact that we cater only to the Punjabis in UK these figures prove that our reach and penetration to the Punjabi community is far ahead of other radio stations who cater to all the communities. There are lots of developments on the horizon to further boost our listenership by introducing new programmes in the very near future.”

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

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