Rajar: Radio 4 and FiveLive lose listeners

The BBC‘s national speech radio stations have suffered an audience slump in the past three months, with Radio FiveLive recording its lowest weekly reach in seven years and Radio 4’s Today programme falling below the six-million listener mark.

BBC Radio FiveLive has struggled to capitalise on a busy sporting calendar in this quarter, which included the start of the new football season and the opening matches of the Rugby world cup.

According to offficial radio listening figures released this morning by Rajar, the nationwide news and sport station recorded its lowest weekly audience reach since September 2000. FiveLive is listened by 5.49 million adults each week – down 6.8 per cent in the past three months.

FiveLive’s digital-only sister station, FiveLive Sports Extra, also lost listeners this quarter – down 15.7 per cent to 730,000.

Meanwhile, Radio 4’s weekly audience has dipped 220,000 since the end of June, down 2.3 per cent to 9.26 million. Its share of radio listening remains stable at 11.2 per cent.

The station’s flagship morning news programme, Today – which celebrates its 50th anniversary this weekend – has fallen below the psychological six-million listener mark. Its weekly audience now stands at 5.9m – down 276,000 in the past three months.

And although Radio 4 remains the most listened-to radio station in London, its audience in the capital has also fallen slightly – down 3.2 per cent this quarter to just under 2.4 million.

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