The BBC Asian Network is set to be axed in plans to be announced next month, according to reports today.
The Times claims Mark Thompson, the Director-General, will announce the closure of the digital radio stations Asian Network and 6 Music and introduce a cap on spending on broadcast rights for sports events of 8.5 per cent of the licence fee, or about 300 million.
The report is being considered by the corporation۪s governing body, the BBC Trust, and is due to be made public in early-March.
The BBC told BizAsia.co.uk, “Work on the BBC’s Strategy Review is ongoing and we are not commenting on today’s story.”
It is unclear if the station as a whole will close or if just the “expensive” digital version will face the axe, leaving the analogue service in the Midlands as it is. But if this is the case then will listeners outside the Midlands be churning out licence fee money for a service that is not accessible to them? We۪ll keep you posted.
Earlier this month, a BBC spokesperson told BizAsia.co.uk, “All the services are being reviewed at the moment and as Mark Thompson has said we will announce the review at the end of February.”
The BBC Asian Network listening figures have been in decline for several months. The last set of results saw the station up only by 3,000 listeners to 360,000 since Q3/09.
Keep it with BizAsia.co.uk for this developing story.