Chris Evans beats Zo&#235 Ball in airwaves battle

In the battle of the breakfast airwaves new research shows Virgin Radio’s Chris Evans will attract two listeners for every one that tunes into his BBC breakfast radio rival ZoëBall.

The latest CIA MediaLab’s Sensor survey shows 38 per cent of 15 to 34-year-olds said they were likely to tune into Virgin Radio DJ Evans. When the same question was asked about Ball’s Radio 1’s show, only 14 per cent said they were likely to listen to it.

Anthony Jones, head of CIA MediaLab, says these figures act as a litmus test before the next joint BBC/commercial radio figures, called Radio Joint Audience Research (Rajar), come out at the end of the year.

Jones says: “The breakfast show is the key battleground for winning radio audiences. Usually it takes quite a lot for people to change their radio station. But Evans has a track record in getting people to do this.”

Evans will have his work cut out if he is to make serious inroads into Ball’s audience. Radio 1’s breakfast show has 5.8 million listeners, while Virgin’s has 1.4 million.

However, in London both shows limp far behind Chris Tarrant’s Capital Radio breakfast show. Tarrant has 2.5 million listeners while Radio 1 and Virgin pick up 767,000 and 690,000 respectively. (All figures are second-quarter Rajar results).

The CIA Sensor is a monthly representative survey of 500 people.

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