BBC: Best network radio hours in 3 years
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BBC: Best network radio hours in 3 years

The latest RAJAR figures show that BBC Radio had its highest weekly listening hours – 586m – for three years in the period to September.

In addition, Radio 1 has its biggest reach since the research methodology changing in 1999 and Radio 2 hit 14 million listeners again as Chris Evans added nearly half a million listeners to his breakfast show over the last year.

Digital station 5 live Sports Extra hit a record audience high of 1.15m – helped by cricket coverage on Test Match Special over the summer. The 5 live spin-off service increased its reach by 77.5% from 12 months ago.

All BBC Radio has a weekly reach of 34.86 million, from 34.24m last year and 35.53m last quarter, and a share of 54.5%, from 54.3% last year and 54% last quarter.

Radio 1’s record reach of 11.85 million is up from 11.65m last year and 11.69m last quarter, while its share of listening increased to 9.1%, from 8.5% last quarter and level with last year. The Chris Moyles Show attracted 7.16 million listeners every week – from 7.10m last year and 7.44m last quarter – and Radio 1’s sister station 1Xtra posted a weekly reach of 904,000 – from 806,000 last year and 992,000 last quarter.

Radio 2 tipped 14 million listeners for the fourth time, registering an audience of 14.31m (13.68m last year and 13.97m last quarter) and a share of 15.9% (15.6% last year and 14.9% last quarter). The Chris Evans Breakfast Show attracted 8.86 million listeners every week, from 8.41m last year and 8.67m last quarter, giving the show its third highest ever reach.

Radio 3‘s weekly audience shrank to 2.05 million listeners – compared with 2.15m last year and 2.17m last quarter.

Radio 4 reached 10.56 million people each week – up on last year’s 10.37m but down from last quarter’s record of 10.85m – with a share of 12% (11.8% last year and 12.4% last quarter). It remains the biggest radio station in London with a reach of 2.776m (compared with Radio 2’s 2.299m and Capital FM’s 2.179m). The Today programme attracted 6.76 million listeners per week across the UK (from 6.51m last year and the previous record of 7.18m last quarter) and Radio 4 Extra posted a reach of 1.53 million – up from 1.05m last year as Radio 7 but down from the 1.61m last quarter.

Radio 5 live‘s reach is down to 6.237m this quarter (from 6.295m last year and 6.542m last quarter), while the 5 live Sports Extra digital service posted a record 1.15m weekly listeners – that’s up 77.% from 648,000 this time last year, and up 44.3% from the 797,000 listeners it had in Q2/11.

6 Music attracted 1.23 million listeners per week during the period (1.20m last year and 1.27m last quarter), while the BBC Asian Network’s weekly reach was 507,000 – up from 462,000 last year and 471,000 last quarter. BBC World Service posted a UK reach of 1.50 million, from 1.32m last year, while BBC Local / Regional radio reached 9.50 million listeners per week – from 9.14m last year and 9.65m last quarter.

Tim Davie, Director BBC Audio & Music, said: “It is excellent to see people listening to so many hours of BBC Radio. In particular, the record Radio 1 figures reflect both the distinctiveness of its programmes and the strength of an outstanding team. I’m also very pleased to see that the combined efforts of the radio industry are resulting in a clear transition of listeners into digital radio. The rise in internet listening is noteworthy and represents encouraging growth in the sector.”

0 0 180 27 October, 2011 RAJAR News Thursday, October 27th, 2011

About the author

Stuart Clarkson is Deputy Editor of RadioToday and Freelance Journalist for a number of UK radio stations. Follow him on Twitter @stuartclarkson.

View all articles by Stuart Clarkson

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