Local stations are streets ahead of their Dublin rivals

The latest Irish national radio listenership survey shows that local radio stations in the Republic now have 1.7 million listeners daily. This is 780,000 more than RTE Radio 1 and twice as many as the second RTE radio channel 2FM.

The Joint National Listenership Research survey shows that RTE Radio 1 lost 6 per cent of its market share in the Dublin area in the year up to June 2003.

With 10 stations, Dublin is the most competitive market in the Republic of Ireland, and there is the prospect of four more stations which the Broadcasting Commission of Ireland has announced it is likely to licence soon. The RTE Radio 1 news and current affairs programme Morning Ireland, while still the most popular radio programme in the Republic, has lost about 46,000 listeners.

Independent local radio in the Republic is shown to have gained 59,000 new listeners a day whereas in the same period RTE Radio 1 lost 49,000 listeners.

Commenting on the latest survey, a spokesman for Independent Radio Sales, John O’Connor, commented: “Our wide range of audiences is re?ected in our advertising revenue.” He said it had increased by more than E1m (£690,000) or 15 per cent over the past year.

The survey also shows that the national commercial station Today FM maintained its 16 per cent listenership ?gure nationwide.

By Des Cryan in Dublin

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