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BBC Radio Ulster
BBC Radio Ulster 2022.svg
Broadcast areaNorthern Ireland
FrequencyFM: 92–95 MHz
DAB: 12D
Freeview: 719 (NI only)
Freesat: 716
Sky (UK only): 0118
Virgin Media: 932
Virgin Media Ireland: 906
Online: [1]
RDSBBC ULST
Programming
FormatNews, talk, sport and music
Ownership
OwnerBBC
OperatorBBC Northern Ireland
History
First air date
1 January 1975; 47 years ago (1975-01-01)
Former frequencies
873 MW
1341 MW
Links
WebcastWMA
Websitewww.bbc.co.uk/radioulster

BBC Radio Ulster (Irish: BBC Raidió Uladh) is a Northern Irish radio station owned and operated by BBC Northern Ireland, a division of the BBC. It was established on New Year's Day 1975, replacing what had been an opt-out of BBC Radio 4.

Overview

Previous BBC Radio Ulster logo.
Previous BBC Radio Ulster logo.

It is the most widely listened to radio station in Northern Ireland,[1] with a diverse range of programmes, including news, talk, features, music and sport. In the Q3 2021 RAJAR survey, the station had 517,000 weekly listeners, with total weekly listening hours of 5.5 million, beating its main local rivals (Cool FM, Downtown Radio, Downtown Country, U105, and Q Radio) on both of these metrics and, logically therefore, average weekly hours per listener (10.64). When taken together, the Bauer-owned stations (both Downtown stations and Cool FM) had higher total audience and listening hours per week, but lower average weekly hours per listener. The station had 135,000 more weekly listeners than its equivalent in Wales, BBC Radio Wales, despite serving a RAJAR population 1.1 million smaller. The station had the highest percentage reach and listening share, per corresponding survey area, of any BBC local, nations or national radio station, at 34% and 19.9% respectively.

It is broadcast from BBC Northern Ireland's Broadcasting House in Belfast. News bulletins are broadcast usually on the hour seven days a week from 6:30 am until midnight (on weekdays) and from 7:00 am until midnight (on weekends, Christmas holidays, and Bank Holidays). It is available on 92-95 FM, Digital audio broadcasting and Freeview in Northern Ireland and across the UK on BBC Sounds and satellite/cable television. It is also available in the Republic of Ireland via Virgin Media, on smart speakers or on FM in counties bordering Northern Ireland. The station was available on medium wave on 1341 kHz and 873 kHz until 6 May 2021.[2]

An opt-out of the station exists in Derry, BBC Radio Foyle, carrying alternative programming and news for much of the time between 7:30am and 5:00pm weekdays and a few hours at the weekend. The station is also broadcast on DAB Digital Radio, digital television and on the Internet. During the station's downtime, BBC Radio Ulster simulcasts BBC Radio 5 Live programming.

Funding

The BBC reported in the Annual Report for 2017/18 that Radio Ulster and Radio Foyle operated on a budget of £17.6 million with a 38% reach of the population and that the cost per hour of output was 5.8p.[3]

Programmes

Notable presenters

Previous presenters

References

  1. ^ "Radio and audio content" (PDF). Ofcom.org.uk. Retrieved 9 January 2021.
  2. ^ Ten more stations turn of MW services
  3. ^ "BBC Annual Report and Accounts 2017/18" (PDF). Downloads.bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 9 January 2021.

Coordinates: 54°35′38″N 5°55′48″W / 54.594°N 5.930°W / 54.594; -5.930