Ratings cheer for BBC Radio Scotland

THE return of Scottish Premier League football to the airwaves of BBC Radio Scotland, allied to a couple of format changes in its early morning rosters, is believed to lie behind a recent improvement in its listening figures.

According to today’s RAJARs, the station, on average, reached more people these last three months than it did the previous three. ‘Reach’ is measured by the number of adults, in the geographical area the station can be heard, who tune in for at least five minutes per week.

Between July and September this year, BBC Radio Scotland’s reach was 947,000; whereas it had been 824,000 the previous quarter of the year.

Meanwhile, the share figure (the percentage of total listening time) commanded by BBC Radio Scotland also went up between the quarters: from 7.5 per cent to 8.5 per cent.

The format changes at BBC Radio Scotland include the telephone phone-in programme, Morning Extra, being extended by half an hour, from 9am to 10am. Also, Sheeren Nanjiani’s Sunday morning show, at 9am, is thought to be a ratings success. Coverage of the Glasgow East by-election did the listening figures no harm, either.

Of course, BBC Radio Scotland has a Scotland-wide potential listenership. Radio Borders, for instance, has a much smaller geography, but with a 31 per cent share (down 1.6 per cent on the previous quarter), it continues to lead the ‘share league table’ among the other Scottish stations.

Elsewhere, the shares include: Forth One (up from 14.4 per cent to 16.1), Forth2 (down from 4.5 per cent to 2.9), talk107 (down from 1.7 per cent to 1.2), Wave FM (up from nine per cent to 9.9) and Northsound Two (down from 11.1 per cent to 8.6).

In terms of reach, BBC Radio Scotland’s year-on-year figure (the percentage change between now and this time last year) was up 15.6 per cent.

Elsewhere, it was up 17.8 per cent for Clyde 2, down 8.7 per cent at Forth2, down 10.7 per cent at Northsound Two, down 16.1 per cent at 96.3 Rock Radio, down 21.7 per cent at Tay-FM, up 27.6 per cent at talk107, up 32 per cent at Wave FM and down 35.1 per cent at XFM Scotland (East).

In talk107’s case, the positive year-on-year reach figure was countered by a 9.8 per cent dip between this year’s Q2 and Q3 reach figures. So, 96.3 Rock Radio’s negative year-on-year reach is countered by a 20.5 per cent increase in Q2 versus Q3. The corresponding percentage for Wave FM is up 3.1 per cent. At XFM Scotland (East), it’s up 6.1 per cent.

In statements issued by stations, Radio Clyde and sister station, Forth, there was much cheer about the performance of their respective breakfast teams.

At Clyde 1, George Bowie’s 386,000 listeners per week is estimated to be 71,000 more than Real Radio’s Robin Galloway and 218,000 more than Radio 1’s Chris Moyles.

Meanwhile, Forth One’s ‘Boogie and the breakfast team’ has more listeners at breakfast than any other station in the area and has the highest market share, with 18.4 per cent of the market.