There are thousands of regional and local FM stations in Africa reaching unique audiences within a 30-mile radius of each station. Some are high powered commercial or government-run stations. Others are private, educational, religious, and community radio stations. There are talk stations and music stations and many are a mixture of news, talk and music and this is aside from the increasing number of web-based stations where there is no boundary. We are engaging with station and programme managers throughout Africa informing them about our two international sports programmes, Planet Sport and Planet Sport Football Africa, that they can schedule alongside their local sports programmes and so increase listenership to their station.
It's a struggle for many stations to maintain 24/7 presence on the air and many programme managers are grateful that someone else has done the research and produced a regular and complete sports programme from an international perspective. Many stations can compile a results-based sports programme as they too have access to the internet, but the Passion for Sport programmes are different as we discuss issues that arise from the sport from a moral, ethical and spiritual perspective. In addition we interview sportsmen and women many of whom are able to share their faith and life experiences as followers of Jesus Christ.
Since January eight new stations have engaged with us for the first time, from West through to Southern Africa.
Moses Nyantee, station manager at ELWA in Monrovia Liberia commented: “These programmes will increase our listenership because our young people love sports.”
He went on to say that Planet Sport Football Africa is “very exciting – thank you plenty.” A couple of months later he wrote to say, “our folk love the programme.”
Martin Okudi from Usalama FM in northern Uganda and close to the South Sudan border assures us that our 15 minutes weekly multi-sport programmePlanet Sport can 'fit well' in their broadcast schedule. He added: “I have listened to the programme that has arrived and it is awesome and I will air it today!” This is a station seeking to bring peace in the midst of war and hardship to the refugees of South Sudan.
One Love Radio in Lusaka joins two other stations in Zambia carrying our programmes. Station Manager Kaluwa Tembo says “I love the content and I know our listeners will enjoy the programmes. We really appreciate the great job that you guys are doing.” Thanks Kaluwa, that makes our day!
We've had a new addition, just a couple of weeks ago, and that is the first station in Nigeria to be taking our programmes – WE FM in Abuja. Whilst our Planet Sport Football Africa correspondent Solomon Izang Ashoms was taking part in a WE FM programme, he was able to introduce Production Engineer, Austin Kyunni to our programmes and now the talk station airs both programmes weekly.
West Coast Radio in the Gambia has had exclusive rights to our programmes in the country for the past three years and it is clear from the listener participation in ourPlanet Sport Football Africa programme that it is a popular programme across the nation.
One listener to Worship 101.7 FM in Liberia gets the whole family listening because, he says, “it is such a great time.” The programmes are heard on four stations scattered along the lengthy Liberian coastline. Another listener, Roland says, “I am so glad to 101.7 FM when I hear this programme. I love it. I love it. I love it. Please guys don't stop this programme. I'm appealing for time to be extended.”
The final word goes to George S who also listens on Worship FM, Liberia, “I'm excited about this programme Planet Sport,” he says. “I am a great lover of sport. Big thanks to the whole crew and I can't wait for the next edition.”
You can hear these programmes by downloading the two free apps Planet Sport andPlanet Sport Football Africa or going on the website www.planetsport.tv.