|Frequency||SES Astra 2F at 28.2° East
12.581 GHz Vertical
Service ID: 55373
Audio PID: 2325
|First air date||3 July 1995
as Viva 963
|Format||Easy Listening, R'n'B, Classical, pop, and religious|
Liberty Radio is a UK radio broadcaster and company based in London, England that, as of 2013[update], is transmitted free to air from the Astra 2F  satellite at 28.2° East to most of Europe, and on the Internet, but not on analog or DAB terrestrial radio. The station is also available to subscribers to BSkyB on the Sky EPG at LCN 186. The company started as Viva 963, broadcasting on terrestrial radio, predominantly for women, and was later renamed. It lost its terrestrial broadcasting licence in 2002 after being acquired by the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God (UCKG); the broadcasting slot was taken over by Buzz Asia, with different content.
The station started on 3 July 1995 as Viva 963, a service of talk and pop aimed at women devised by public relations consultant Lynne Franks. It broadcast on 963 kHz on medium wave from a transmitter at Lea Bridge Road, Leyton. A second transmitter, broadcasting on 972 kHz, was later added at Glade Lane, Southall, Middlesex.
963 Liberty (Fayed)
In May 1996 the station was sold to Mohammed Al Fayed, owner of Harrods and chairman of Fulham Football Club, who renamed the station Liberty Radio. For a time it broadcast commentaries of Fulham FC's home and away football games.
- Mike Hollingsworth - managing director of Liberty Broadcasting
- Adrian Allen
- Toby Anstis
- Zoë Ball
- Simon Bates
- Sean Bolger
- Bruno Brookes
- Nino Firetto
- Emma Forbes
- David Hamilton
- Charlie Jordan
- Caron Keating
- Diana Luke
- Carol McGiffin
- Sally Meen
- Anna Raeburn
- Richard Skinner
- Penny Smith
- Anthea Turner
Liberty Radio (UCKG)
In 2000 Al Fayed sold the station to the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God (UCKG);
The broadcasting slot
UCKG were not allowed to change the format to religious programming, but did broadcast programmes linked to their UCKG Help Centres in the evenings. In February 2001 Ofcom issued a "Yellow Card" to Liberty Radio over religious content and giving undue prominence to its owners, the UCKG, breaching two rules of the Advertising and Sponsorship Code. Changes were made as a result.
At the time there were rules preventing stations owned by religious organisations from owning digital radio licences in the UK. Therefore Liberty could not move onto DAB, and did not get an automatic license renewal. Their broadcasting licence was readvertised, and was awarded on 12 November 2002 to Club Asia, who took over 963 and 972 MW at midnight on 3 July 2003. Club Asia went into administration in August 2009 and was taken over by Sunrise Radio Group, itself owned by Litt Corporation, who branded it "Buzz Asia", later "Buzz Radio".
Since the loss of the terrestrial broadcasting licence Liberty Radio has been broadcasting a mixture of pop, r'n'b, easy listening and Christian music, and a variety of talk shows on the Internet, Sky Digital and the Eurobird satellite. In addition to more general music and talk, the Liberty Radio website lists prayer and religious programmes, the VYG connection (the VYG is the Victory Youth Group, the "youth ministry of the UCKG HelpCentre"), Christian hits and gospel songs. The website carries links to various UCKG websites at the bottom of all pages.
Presenters change from time and time; current presenters, and some former presenters, are listed on the Liberty Radio Web site.
- Astra 2F Footprints
- Liberty radio website: About us
- "Aircheck UK - London/Middlesex".
- Viva sex appeal, The Independent newspaper, 19 November 1996
- Liberty Radio Web site, presenters, current and former. As of July 2013
- adrianallen Web site: 963 Liberty Presenter/Head of Music/Programme Controller, March 1997 to February 1998
- BBC - Universal Church of the Kingdom of God buys Liberty Radio
- review, 4th quarter 2000, with details of yellow card to Liberty Radio
- Guardian newspaper: Club Asia radio station goes into administration, 12 August 2009
- BizAsia.co.uk: Club Asia taken over by Sunrise Radio, 16 September 2009
- Buzz Asia website, with Listen Now link. Checked June 2010
- Buzz Asia website
- UCKG Victory Youth Group website
- "Liberty Radio homepage".