Sunrise Radio remained the UK’s most popular Asian radio station, according to the latest RAJAR results released today for the quarter ending March 2007.

National

The Avtar Lit owned station now holds an audience of 466,000, down from the previous quarter. In the quarter ending December 2006, Sunrise Radio had an audience high of 505,000, since then it has shed 39,000 listeners. Its share of listening in the competitive national۪ market remained unchanged at 0.3%. Sunrise Radio is now also listened to longer than before at 7.6 hours.

A spokesperson from Sunrise Radio said,

“We’re pretty happy with RAJAR, with our audience across both Sunrise and Kismat remaining pretty consistent.

Sunrise Radio remains the leading Asian Radio station in the UK in terms of Reach and hours. Year on year both reach and hours have increased, slightly down on reach from Q4 2006 but up in hours the share remains stable. Sunrise delivers a valuable adult audience which is cash rich, aspires to brands and spends a higher than average amount of money on groceries and consumables and delivers a unique reach of over 70% in London.”

In comparison, rival BBC Asian Network’s audience has dwindled also. In the quarter ending December 2006, the station stood with an audience of 493,000, this has witnessed a drop of 41,000 listeners compared to the last quarter. The Asian Network currently has an audience of 452,000, with its market share falling slightly to 0.2%. The Network is listened to 5.0 hours, another drop from the previous quarter (7.5 hours).

BBC Asian Network Controller Bob Shennan said, “The overall trend for the Asian Network is really positive, and its pleasing to see audience numbers up on the year. The continued reinvention of the station is going really well and we have some very strong musical offerings and new talent like Noreen Khan to look forward to in coming months.”

As revealed exclusively here on BizAsia.co.uk the BBC Asian Network is set to strengthen its Bollywood weekend programming. The station is set to unveil two four-hour Bollywood shows each on Saturday and Sunday, come June. The BBC Asian Network will also be increasing its music ouput later this month with Drivetime presenter Adil Ray extending his slot by an hour (15:00-19:00).

Regional

London’s young sounding Asian radio station Club Asia, which registered with RAJAR last summer has seen its audience remain steady since the previous quarter. In the quarter ending December 2006, its audience reach stood at 206,000 in London alone. It now stands at 204,000. Its share in the London region dropped slightly from 0.7% to 0.5%.

Sunrise Radio in comparison saw its audience reach fall marginally. It shed 33,000 listeners from the previous quarter to 379,000. Its share in the London market stood at 1.4%.

Avtar Lit’s adult orientated station Kismat Radio, which broke the 100,000 barrier in the previous quarter, has seen an audience decline to 98,000. It is listened to longer than both Sunrise Radio and Club Asia. Kismat Radio’s listening share stands at 10.5 hours and its market share remains consistent at 0.5%.

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.

The Lit Group is also set to boost its regional output in Birmingham soon. The station has recently acquired offices in the centre of the Birmingham Asian community – Soho Road/Holyhead Road, in which it will begin broadcasting its digital content from.

It has already broadcast an RSL in Birmingham to promote its Asian Lifestyle Show in March. Its flagship station Sunrise Radio and Punjabi Radio are available in various parts of the Midlands on DAB too.