RAJAR -BBC Asian Network or Sunrise Radio

RAJAR -BBC Asian Network or Sunrise Radio
RAJAR -BBC Asian Network or Sunrise Radio

Despite losing over 130,000 listeners during the past three months, the BBC Asian Network remains the UK’s most listened to Asian radio station, according to latest radio listening figures from RAJAR.

The audience measuring body, RAJAR has released data for Q4 of 2012 (October – December 2012), which puts the BBC Asian Network at pole position. The BBC Asian Network was down from 584,000 to 453,000 this quarter. It was listened to slightly longer from 6.7 hours to 6.8 hours. Year-on-year, the station was down by 19,000 listeners. The huge loss of listeners will come as a surprise to the station, which has managed to outshine its rival, Sunrise Radio by dislodging it from the prime position over the past year.

It was during this period that the Network made one of the biggest schedule changes in the station’s history by increasing time slots of shows and removing specialist and religious programming from its output. The station also moved all of its regional language programmes to a new Sunday ‘Language Zone’ slot. However the figures for those language shows will be too early to indicate any significant impact on its audience numbers as the changes were only made at the end of the quarter.

The BBC Asian Network is hoping that the drastic changes it made in October last year will reflect in decent listening figures as they were a response to a report by the BBC Trust. A clearer indication of how listeners have took to the changes will be visible in the coming two RAJAR quarters.

Overview of BBC Asian Network National

This time last year: 472,000

As it stands now: 453,000

Difference: – 19,000

Sunrise Radio, which is no longer available in Birmingham on digital radio but still on in other parts of the country delivered a weekly reach of 361,000 – a loss of 42,000 listeners over the past three months. The station was also being listened to less than previously before. Its listening hours have reduced from 7.3 hours to just 6.1 hours.

Over the past twelve months, Sunrise Radio nationally has lost an incredible 129,000 listeners.

Overview of Sunrise Radio National

This time last year: 490,000

As it stands now: 361,000

Difference: – 129,000

This quarter has proved to be a disappointing one for the Sunrise Radio Group, with its local output in Greater London losing one of the largest amounts of listeners in history. Sunrise Radio London lost a huge 134,000 listeners over the past three months. Its listenership fell from 361,000 in Q3/12 to just 227,000 in Q4/12. It was also being listened to much less from 9.0 hours to 6.5 hours.

Overview of Sunrise Radio London

This time last year: 332,000

As it stands now: 227,000

Difference: – 134,000

The now more regional language offering, Kismat Radio, which broadcasts Gujarati, Punjabi and Hindi in programming blocks throughout the day also made a loss for the Sunrise Radio Group. It was down from 81,000 to 69,000 this quarter. Year-on-year, the station was static – it was delivering the same amount as this quarter.

Overview of Kismat Radio

This time last year: 69,000

As it stands now: 69,000


Sunrise Radio Group’s youth station, Buzz Asia, which has recently been branded Buzz Radio remained unchanged with exactly the same amount of listeners over the past six months. It will be interesting to see how much the name change and programming shift to Buzz Radio will reflect on listening numbers in the next round of data.

Overview of Buzz Asia

This time last year: 108,000

As it stands now: 88,000

Difference: – 20,000

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.