Rajar: BBC increases lead over commercial radio

The BBC strengthened its dominance of speech radio over commercial broadcasters in 2007 according to newly released listening figures from industry measurement body Rajar.

The BBC‘s audience share rose in the last quarter of the year to 55.4 per cent. It had dipped from a record 56 per cent in the first quarter of the year.

In the same period, the commercial sector’s slice of the radio market was down to 42.4 per cent, down 1.2 per cent year on year. It was the third successive quarterly fall.

Despite this, commercial talk radio stations enjoyed success in the last quarter.

TalkSport, had a weekly reach of 2.45 million listeners, up from 2.31 million the previous quarter and 2.24 million in the same period in 2006. It was the station’s best-ever quarter four audience, equalling its previous record audience share of 2 per cent in the first three months of last year.

Its nearest rival, BBC’s rolling news and sports station Radio FiveLive regained listeners to take it back above the 6 million mark.

London talk station LBC regained listeners after a slump in the third quarter of 2007. Its listenership was up to 6.42 million, an increase of 9.6 per cent in the last three months of the year, and 2.9 per cent year on year.

LBC’s sister station, the rolling news station LBC News 1152 suffered a massive drop in audience, down 22.1 per cent in the last quarter to 218,000.

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