National sports radio station talkSPORT has seen a 5.8% increase in audience size over the last 12 months, according to the Q3/11 RAJAR data, and hit its highest ever reach for the 3-month summer period.
The UTV station’s audience is now at 3.132 million, of which 2.5m are men.
In London, however, talkSPORT has lost 15% of its audience over the past year with the station down to 717,000 listeners in the capital (was 844,000 in Q3/10).
Nationally, Richard Keys and Andy Gray’s weekday midmorning show has reached a record audience for the timeslot, with an increase of 8.3% compared with Q2/11. Alan Brazil’s Sports Breakfast has gained 4.3% reach year on year and has 1.347 million listeners, although this is down from the 1.364 last quarter.
Moz Dee, Programme Director for talkSPORT, said: “I’m delighted that we’ve grown the audience year on year in what is always a difficult quarter for sports broadcasters. Quality sports journalism and continued investment in rights and talent are hitting the right note with existing and new listeners. While these figures only reflect the first few matches of our live and exclusive Rugby World Cup coverage, they seem very promising indeed.”
Meanwhile, UTV’s group of 14 local radio stations in the UK have collectively increased audience both on the quarter and the year. Reach for the group is now at 1.516m, with hours of 13.6m and a market share of 10.6%.
Around the group, The Wave in Swansea is at its highest reach (151,000) since 2004 and now bigger than Radio 1 in its TSA on both reach and hours. Signal Radio has recorded the highest FM and AM combined reach since 2003, with Signal 1 posting an 8-year high of 284,000 listeners a week. Warrington’s Wire FM has grown its hours 76% over the last 12 months too.
Calum Macaulay, Director of Local Radio for the group said: “These are a great set of numbers with the growth reflecting the success of our Proud to Be Local positioning and our clear programme strategy to broadcast live local sport alongside great music. In the 2011/2012 season we will broadcast over 228 hours of live Premier League football from Swansea City, Stoke City, Bolton Wanderers and Wigan Athletic, and next year we will broadcast live commentary from over 90 Super League matches in rugby league’s heartland on Wish FM and Wire FM.”
UTV has recently appointed former GMG Head of Music and programmer Terry Underhill as its Group Programme Director for its ILR stations. Underhill takes up his new position on November 7th. Macaulay added: “We are looking forward to Terry joining us and building on the fantastic work that Francis Currie has done to drive the group forward. Francis will continue to work with Terry and myself in a consultative capacity.”