Wireless national stations continue to grow in hours (+6%) and reach (+2%)
talkSPORT listening hours up 6% to 19.3m, reach up +5% to 2.96m
talkRADIO’s breakfast show with Julia Hartley-Brewer up 17% year-on-year
Virgin Radio hours grow (+3%) ahead of Chris Evans joining in January
Wireless UK local stations show growth in hours (+14%) and reach (+10%)
The latest round of RAJAR results - covering April to September 2018 - show growth for Wireless across its roster of national and local stations as a whole.
A strong quarter for Wireless has seen reach and hours grow annually, with a 3% increase in reach compared to last year and a 8% increase in annual hours to 32m. The overall audience has now reached 4.64m adults.
talkSPORT grew its audience by 5% to 3m listeners compared to the same quarter last year.
The weekday daytime shows maintained a strong audience of over a million for the second consecutive quarter. And the weekend shows have also seen considerable growth, with overall Saturday and Sunday audiences up 17% compared to last year.
talkSPORT 2 listeners are now listening longer than ever with the station posting its highest ever hours - with 1.1m listening hours each week.
At talkRADIO, listeners are tuned in to a raft of top talent. The station now reaches 261k listeners each week, while Julia Hartley-Brewer’s breakfast show was up 17% year-on-year.
Compared to the same quarter in 2017, Virgin Radio’s hours have grown 3%, with increases across key midweek shows. Virgin Radio now reaches 414k listeners each week. Virgin’s Drive show has seen a 19% uplift in listeners compared to the same quarter last year, to 129k each week.
At Wireless local stations, listeners continue to tune in for longer, with an increase in hours – up 14% year-on-year. Local listeners now spend over 9.1 million hours tuning in to a Wireless local station each week.
In September talkSPORT announced it had successfully obtained the exclusive free-to-air rights for England’s overseas cricket tour of South Africa in 2019/2020. The news means talkSPORT is now the audio home for all of England’s major overseas tours for the next two years, including the full Sri Lanka and West Indies series.
Also in September, talkRADIO unveiled two heavyweight signings to add to a roster of talent which already includes Julia Hartley-Brewer and Eamonn Holmes. Jeremy Kyle has joined the station to host the Saturday afternoon slot (1-4pm), while Matthew Wright is helming a new weekday afternoon show (1-4pm).
Meanwhile Wireless has also announced that Chris Evans will return to host the Breakfast Show on Virgin Radio almost twenty years after he left the station. The much-loved broadcaster will be waking up the nation on Virgin Radio from the New Year.
Scott Taunton, Wireless CEO, welcomed the latest set of RAJARs saying: “This is a strong set of results: we’ve grown in hours and reach across our national and local stations. That’s a fantastic performance in the context of a highly competitive marketplace.
“And looking forward - I’m excited about the impact our continued investment in premium sports rights and new talent will make in driving growth in the months ahead. Legions of cricket fans have already been drawn to our exclusive coverage of England vs Sri Lanka. Jeremy Kyle and Matthew Wright are definitely making their presence felt on talkRADIO. And there’s the small matter of Chris Evans - the most popular broadcaster in the English-speaking world - landing back where he belongs in the Virgin Radio breakfast slot in the new year!”