Bradford Asian Radio will be playing more music than before after Ofcom approved changes to its Key Commitments.
The station asked to change its description of character of service so that it is no longer a “speech-led” radio station for the “Asian population of Bradford”, but a “music and speech radio station” for the “Asian (primarily Pakistani) population of Bradford”, which also offers “special programming on religious and cultural occasions”.
It will now be allowed to:
- Change its music requirements from music “from the Indian sub-continent”, to “Pakistani, Indian, Punjabi, Mirpuri and Qawwali Music” and to make reference to being able to change its music output to “religious/spiritual tracks only” during religious and cultural occasions.
- Change its speech output requirements so it is able to limit output to “religious and cultural programming only” during moments of religious significance, relevant to its target community.
- Reduce its original output requirement from “a minimum of 13 hours per day” to “a minimum of 42 hours per week.”
Ofcom ran a consultation on the matter, to which only two responses were received. One from the Community Media Association was in favour of the move whilst Sunrise Radio, also based in Bradford, objected.
Sunrise Radio raised the point that the changes to the character of the service is a backdoor way of getting a format changed to one that other applicants had applied for but were not awarded a licence because it did not widen listener choice. Sunrise also points out that the reduction by 54% of the original output drastically changes the character of service.