I have been a loyal listener of BBC Asian Network for more than 4 years now. My first listening experience came when I was an international listener based in California, USA. Not only was the delivery of the content groundbreaking, it truly filled a void for listeners like me who wanted to hear fresh music that was not easy to find. My motivation is not so much to reconnect with my linguistic roots but to just know that there is a mainstream medium that caters to who I am and what I stand for. Their support of the London Mela and other events make it an important fabric for the community, not just a radio station. Closing it down and relegating it to a untimely corner of another station is taking a giant step backwards and, frankly, snatching away the identity of a community.
As others may have pointed out already, the £9m budget for the Asian Network and Radio 6 seems like a drop in the ocean vis a vis BBC total budget and maybe in this instance cost per listener is not the correct measure of the stations' success.
My respect for the BBC is founded on its independence from commercial interests. While I understand business rationale, I put on the hat of a listener alone and do not support the closure of Asian Network and Radio 6.