Independent digital station Panjab Radio has witnessed a huge surge in listeners; meanwhile Sunrise Radio stays on top nationally, according to data for Q2/09.

National

Sunrise Radio, which belongs to the Litt Corporation, registered a weekly reach of 494,000 between April and June this year. Its listening hours per week stood at 8.6. Overall, the station had a 21,000 rise since the previous quarter.

BBC Asian Network continued its slow growth with listeners rising from 405,000 to 421,000 this quarter. The 16,000 weekly reach climb can be a seen as a result of the station’s schedule changes, which were made in the previous quarter. Presenters Adil Ray and Jas Rao swapped shows, with Ray moving to the flagship ‘Breakfast’ and Rao moving to the afternoon ‘Drive’ show.

Andy Parfitt, Controller, BBC Asian Network, says, “Given the huge changes the team has made to the schedule, we’re pleased that the audience has gone up and that listeners are staying with the Asian Network for longer.”

This is the second ratings rise in two quarters for the BBC Asian Network. Over the past six months, it has garnered 21,000 additional listeners, despite press reports last month that the station was likely to face the axe. London’s Evening Standard reported that the station was facing closure after losing a fifth of its listeners despite spending more than 25?million in two years. The BBC went on to deny this.

Local

Panjab Radio will be celebrating today after adding 17,000 weekly listeners, leaving behind Litt Corporation’s Punjabi Radio. Panjab Radio, which celebrates nine years on air on 1st September, managed to up its weekly reach from 44,000 to 61,000 listeners. Listeners have also begun tuning in longer to the popular digital radio station. Its number of hours went up to 8 hours per week.

Managing Director of Panjab Radio, Surjit Ghuman spoke to BizAsia.co.uk about the positive results, “It is a great achievement for Panjab Radio being an independent digital radio station which started its broadcast on the Sky Platform in 2000, to now be London۪s biggest Asian digital radio station.”

This spells further good news for Panjab Radio. It was the highest gainer amongst London stations, adding 17,000 listeners this quarter. Punjabi Radio also saw a small increase from 30,000 in the previous quarter to 34,000 this quarter.

Sunrise Radio in London can also breathe a sigh of relief after grabbing a further 2,000 listeners in this quarter. Its audience went up from 328,000 to 330,000. Its listening hours remained steady with 9.2 hours per week.

Adult contemporary radio station, Kismat Radio, owned by the Litt Corporation has also had an audience rise to a weekly reach of 91,000. Its listening hours hovered around 6.2 hours per week.

Club Asia finally shows signs of regaining lost ground. After a turbulent 2008, the station has added new listeners for the second quarter running. Its reach grew by 14,000 listeners from 188,000 to 202,000 listeners now. The number of hours tuning into the station fell slightly from 5.2 hours to 4.9 hours.

Ivor Etienne, Head of Programming for Club Asia told BizAsia.co.uk, “Year on year our reach went up from 198,000 to 202,000. We also saw a rise in our total hours quarter on quarter from 976,000 to 982,000. Congratulations to Shak who put on an extra 6,000 listeners in the breakfast slot and Zyleen who put on an extra 11,000 listeners and now has 108,000 people listening to the ‘Hot Drive Home’ every week.”

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