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RAJAR: Sunrise Radio returns to top after two years

Sunrise Radio back in pole position
Sunrise Radio back in pole position

The endless publicity surrounding Sunrise Radio’s future has helped it regain the number one position in the official UK radio ratings.

According to data issued by official measuring body, RAJAR for Q3 (July – September) of 2013, Sunrise Radio was just slightly ahead of BBC Asian Network in the ratings but it’s the first time since Q4 of 2011, Sunrise Radio has taken back pole position.

Over the past three months, Sunrise Radio has been in the news after it failed to pay tax to HMRC on time. The matter was apparently cleared a few days ago when Chairman of Sunrise Radio confirmed on radio that the tax was paid.

Sunrise Radio’s weekly reach stood at 556,000 nationally – an increase by 131,000 listeners since last quarter. It was up from 425,000 listeners in Q2. Listening hours were also up to 7 hours from 6.4 hours.

Overview of Sunrise Radio National
This time last year: 403,000
As it stands now: 556,000
Difference: + 153,000

BBC Asian Network was more or less steady in the latest round of listening figures – losing 32,000 listeners during the last quarter.

It’s quite unfortunate for the station as it went all out to promote itself at summer events and other UK Asian concepts including the appearance of Bollywood stars Ranbir Kapoor, Shah Rukh Khan and Deepika Padukone for their respective film marketings. The station had also spent money to broadcast special material on the digital TV Red Button.

The station’s weekly reach was down from 587,000 to 555,000. The station’s listening hours were up from 5.5 hours to 6.6 hours.

Overview of BBC Asian Network National
This time last year: 584,000
As it stands now: 555,000
Difference: – 29,000


Sunrise Radio benefited from the coverage of it possibly closing down due to tax payment issues. Its audience for Q3 of 2013 in London itself was one of the best in recent times. It’s weekly reach stood at 415,000 listeners – up from 295,000. An increase by a huge 120,000 listeners. It’s listening hours stood at 6.7 hours.

Overview of Sunrise Radio London
This time last year: 361,000
As it stands now: 415,000
Difference: + 54,000

Kismat Radio
Sister station, Kismat Radio’s audience was also down to 84,000 listeners – a loss of 16,000 listeners. Down from 100,000 in the last quarter. Its listening hours was down to 4.5 hours from 7.3 hours.

Overview of Kismat Radio
This time last year: 81,000
As it stands now: 84,000
Difference: + 3,000

Buzz Radio’s listenership finally bounced back up after a year. The station was up from 62,000 listeners to 77,000 listeners – an increase by 15,000 listeners since the last quarter. The station’s listening hours was incredibly to its highest yet to 7.9 hours from 4.5 hours in the last quarter.

Overview of Buzz Radio
This time last year: 88,000
As it stands now: 77,000
Difference: – 11,000

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.