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Thursday, 2 August, 2001, 15:23 GMT 16:23 UK
Radio 'more popular' than TV
BBC Radio 1 DJ Sara Cox
BBC Radio 1's Sara Cox won her biggest audiences
The average person spends more time listening to the radio than watching TV, according to the latest figures.

Radio listening time has increased by an average of two hours per week since the beginning of 1999, the Radio Joint Audience Research (Rajar) statistics state.

The average person in the UK listens to the radio for 3.48 hours per day, compared with 3.46 hours spent in front of the television.

BBC Radio 2 DJ Terry Wogan
Terry Wogan: Added one million listeners to show
About 92% of British adults regularly listen to the radio for more than 24 hours per week - a new record high.

Prior to these latest figures, radio listening had topped its TV equivalent for only three months during the last two and a half years.

The statistics for the last three months also state that BBC Radio 2's Terry Wogan, BBC Radio 1's Sara Cox and TalkSPORT have been the biggest winners in the ratings battle.

The rise in radio's popularity is a "significant step", according to Commercial Radio Companies Association chief executive Paul Brown.

Radio 2

"There's a greater variety of service than there's ever been before," he said.

Radio 2 has stretched its lead over Radio 1 as the most popular station in the country, with a new audience of 11.8 million per week - up from 10.1 million at the same time last year.

Terry Wogan, who presents the breakfast show, has added one million listeners to his show alone in that period.

Radio 2 now has 500,000 more listeners per week than Radio 1 - which, until May, had been ahead of its sister station.

'Getting better'

Gilda Witte, head of marketing for BBC Radio described the quality of all radio output as "fantastic".

"It just keeps getting better," she said.

TalkSPORT has increased its audience figures by more than 10% - 215,000 people - in the last year.

Radio benefits from the fact that people can listen to it while doing other things, while TV demands the viewer's full attention, according to some industry figures.

'Still matters'

Rajar's managing director, Jane O'Hara, said one factor in radio's resurgence is that fact that it can now be heard over more platforms.

"It can be heard over the Internet and through digital TV," she said.

"What is good is that for a medium that's been around for such a long time, it still matters. It is something that people want to listen to a lot."

See also:

03 Aug 00 | Entertainment
Cox is BBC's breakfast toast
10 May 01 | TV and Radio
Radio 2 becomes number one
01 Feb 01 | Entertainment
Wogan a winner for Radio 2
11 Jan 00 | Entertainment
Sport relaunch for Talk
08 May 01 | TV and Radio
Radio's diary woes
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