RAJAR: BBC Asian Network remains UK’s top Asian station

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

The BBC Asian Network has managed to remain the UK’s most listened to Asian radio station for the second time this year.

According to official data from radio audience measuring body, RAJAR for Quarter 2 of 2012, the BBC Asian Network was up by 7,000 new listeners. The station attracted a weekly reach of 547,000 for the period ending 24th June. The BBC Asian Network has added 76,000 extra listeners over the past twelve months.

During this period, the station invested in some innovative programming with key highlight being Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan hosting his own radio show for the station. Plus, the station aired coverage from its ‘In Conversation With’ strand with Madhuri Dixit and highlights from events featuring Adnan Sami and Kailash Kher. This quarter also saw new presenter Rupal Rajani taking over the ‘Mid-Morning Show’ from longstanding presenter Sonia Deol, who left prior this quarter to get married in the USA.

The station has been heavily promoted at recent events, partnering up with most Bollywood shows and concerts in the UK. While the figures will be encouraging for the BBC Asian Network, it will hope to grow further in the coming months on the back of its successful programming and marketing.

Overview of BBC Asian Network National
This time last year: 471,000
As it stands now: 547,000
Difference: + 76,000

Sunrise Radio National has suffered yet another blow this quarter. After losing 33,000 listeners in the past quarter, it was down by 10,000 again this quarter. Over the past six months, the station’s audience has fallen to 447,000. However, it was being listened to longer increasing from 6.1 hours to 7.1 hours average per listener.

Further discouraging news for Sunrise Radio National is that over the past twelve months, it has lost a huge 139,000 listeners – either defecting to rival stations or switching off completely.

The station is likely to face another uphill task next quarter to retain listenership after it removed itself from Birmingham’s digital multiplex. This means a large chunk of listeners in the area will unable to listen to the old favourite – possibly affecting listener numbers.

Overview of Sunrise Radio National
This time last year: 586,000
As it stands now: 447,000
Difference: – 139,000


Sunrise Radio’s local version for Greater London has bounced back after a disappointing period last quarter. It has added 82,000 new listeners delivering a respectable weekly reach of 367,000. Listeners were also tuning in for longer from 6.9 hours to 9.2 hours.

The station has a long way to go to match the success to last year’s numbers. Over the past twelve months, Sunrise Radio London has lost 104,000 listeners.

Overview of Sunrise Radio London
This time last year: 471,000
As it stands now: 367,000
Difference: – 104,000

The adult contemporary station, Kismat Radio has lost 13,000 listeners during this quarter. Its weekly reach stands at 92,000. The station is being listened to slightly longer though from 4.6 hours per day to an average of 5.6 hours.

Kismat Radio was down by 90,000 listeners year-on-year.

Overview of Kismat Radio
This time last year: 182,000
As it stands now: 92,000
Difference: – 90,000

Sunrise Radio Group’s youth station, Buzz Asia lost 2,000 listeners during the three months ending June 2012. It was up from last year though. However, the station is yet to touch the heights that Club Asia did before it was bought out by the Litt Corporation. Its weekly reach currently stands at 117,000. Listeners were tuning in for a shorter period than last quarter. Its listening hours averaged at 4.8 hours, down from 5.3.

Overview of Buzz Asia
This time last year: 96,000
As it stands now: 117,000
Difference: + 21,000

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

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