The latest round of RAJAR results - covering January to March 2019 - show record results for Wireless national brands, reflecting continued investment in talent and sports rights.
Across Virgin Radio UK, the talkSPORT network and talkRADIO, Wireless now reaches 4.9million listeners - a gain of 1.2m listeners quarter on quarter. The good news extends to listening hours, up 8.5m in the period to 31.5m.
Virgin Radio UK has delivered its first RAJAR results since DJ Chris Evans joined the station on 21 January 2019. The results underline Chris’s immediate impact, as he returns to his spiritual home and reels in new listeners to the show and the station.
The Chris Evans Breakfast Show with Sky secured 1.05 million weekly listeners across the Virgin Radio network in its first ten weeks on air, accounting for 4.5 million weekly listening hours. This represents five-fold growth quarter-on-quarter and seven-fold growth year-on-year in the breakfast slot.
Chris has also provided a boost for the whole Virgin Radio schedule - the station has trebled its reach on the quarter to 1.4million listeners and 8.6 million listening hours.
talkSPORT and talkSPORT 2 continue to benefit from investment in talent and sports rights. Following its exclusive and award-winning coverage of the England series with Sri Lanka, the talkSPORT network delivered more exclusive cricket in the quarter, broadcasting every moment of England’s tour of the West Indies.
The quarter has also seen the stations breaking Premier League stories, delivering the best commentary and analysis and playing host to the cream of UK sporting talent - including England manager Gareth Southgate, who joined Adrian Durham and Darren Gough for an exclusive interview on the day talkSPORT took up residence in its new studios at the News Building.
The talkSPORT network delivered record results, growing reach, with listeners up 5% on the quarter at 3.3m, while listening hours in the year grew 12% to 21.5m.
talkSPORT, the world’s biggest sports radio station, alongside sister station talkSPORT 2, will now offer more live Premier League games than ever before in a new deal which will see it become the destination for live action on Saturdays. The network will also be broadcasting every England and Scotland game throughout next month’s FIFA Women’s World Cup™, with coverage led by Natalie Sawyer - presenter of talkSPORT’s Kick Off show - and a European double as Chelsea take on Arsenal in the Europa League and Spurs face Liverpool in the Champions League Final.
As Brexit continues to dominate politics, more listeners are turning to talkRADIO to make sense of things. The station’s reach increased by 23% in the last twelve months to 339k, while in the last quarter listening hours grew 6% to 1.4m as speech radio fans tune into a daytime roster that includes Julia Hartley-Brewer, Matthew Wright and Eamonn Holmes.
Scott Taunton, Wireless CEO, welcoming the latest set of RAJARs said: “This is a superlative set of results for Wireless, reflecting our investment in talent and sports rights. Chris Evans has driven huge growth at breakfast and across the whole station, and that’s in just ten weeks.
“talkSPORT is reaping the benefits of our award-winning live coverage of major sporting events - including our investment in cricket and football rights - and talkRADIO is increasingly the destination for those looking to make sense of Brexit. With the backing of News UK, our growth strategy is ahead of expectations, with one million more listeners joining Wireless in the last year. We’re delighted with this performance.”