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Television - Doordarshan

Doordarshan, a Public Service Broadcaster, is among the largest terrestrial television network in the world. The service was started in New Delhi on 15 September 1959 to transmit educational and development programmes on an experimental basis with half-an-hour programming.

Commencement of regular television service as part of All India Radio commenced in Delhi (1965); Mumbai (1972); Kolkata (1975), Chennai (1975). Doordarshan was established on 15 September 1976. A major landmark thereafter was the introduction of colour television in 1982 coinciding with the 9th Asian Games held in New Delhi that ushered in a major revolution in broadcasting in the country. This was followed by a phase of rapid expansion of Doordarshan when, in 1984 more or less every day saw the installation of a transmitter in the country.

Other significant milestones that followed thereafter were:

  • Launch of second channel
  • Delhi (9 August 1984), Mumbai (1 May 1985), Chennai (19 November 1987), Kolkata (1 July 1988)
  • Networking of second channels to launch the Metro Channel (26 January 1993)
  • Launch of International channel-DD India (14 March 1995)
  • Formation of Prasar Bharati (Broadcasting Corporation of India) (23 November 1997)
  • Launch of sports channel-DD Sports (18 March 1999)
  • Launch of enrichment/cultural channel-DD Bharati (26 January 2002)
  • Launch of 24 hours news channel-DD News (3 November 2002)
  • Launch of free to air Direct-to-Home Service-DD Direct + (16 December 2004)

Doordarshan has contributed significantly towards the acceleration of socioeconomic change, promotion of national integration and stimulation of scientific temper in the country. Being a Public Service Broadcaster, its mandate is to carry through its programmes messages on population control and family welfare, preservation of environment and ecological balance, highlighting the need for social welfare measures for women, children and the less privileged. It is also mandated to promote games and sports, and the artistic and cultural heritage of the country.

Doordarshan Today

Doordarshan network consists of 64 Doordarshan Kendras/Production Centres, 24 Regional News Units, 126 Doordarshan Maintenance Centres, 202 High Power transmitters, 828 Low Power Transmitters, 351 Very Low Power Transmitters, 18 Transposers, 30 Channels and DTH Service and has a sanctioned strength of 21708 officers and staff of various categories.

DD's Transmitters

Doordarshan's Transmitters
Channel HPT LPT VLPT Transposer Total
National (DD1) 128 747 346 18 1239
DD News 70 81 5 - 156
Others 4 - - - 4
Total 202 828 351 18 1399

Doordarshan Channels

  • National Channel (5) : DD1, DD News, DD Bharati, DD Sports and DD Urdu.
  • Regional Language Satellite Channel (11) : DD North-East, DD Bengali, DD Gujarati, DD Kannada, DD Kashir, Dd Malayalam, Dd Sahyadri, DD Oriya, DD Punjabi, DD Podhigai, and DD Saptagiri.
  • Regional State Network (11) : Bihar, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Uttrakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, Mizoram and Tripura.
  • International Channel (1) : DD India.

Doordarshan has a three-tier programme service - National, Regional and Local.

  • The emphasis in the programmes in the National service is on events and issues of interest to the entire nation.
  • The programmes in the regional service focus on events and issues of interest to the people of that particular State.
  • The local service caters to the needs of the populace living in the areas falling within the reach of a particular transmitter through area specific programmes in the local languages and dialects.

In addition, the programmes in the national and regional services are also available in satellite mode to the viewers all over the country.

Programme sourcing: Programmes for different channels of Doordarshan are sourced from :

  • In-house production : Programmes produced by Doordarshan professionals utilizing Doordarshan infrastructure, including coverage of events 'live' by Doordarshan.
  • Commissioned programmes : Programmes produced by persons of proven merit with funds provided by Doordarshan.
  • Sponsored programmes : Privately produced programmes telecast by Doordarshan on payment of a fee in exchange for Free Commercial Time.
  • Royalty programmes : Programmes acquired by Doordarshan from outside producers on payment of royalty for single or multiple telecasts.
  • Acquired Programmes : Programmes/events acquired from foreign companies on payment of rights fee.
  • Educational/Development programmes : Educational and Development programmes produced by different agencies of the Government.
  • Self Financed Commissioning : The initial production cost of these programmes is met by the private producer. Doordarshan reimburses the production cost to the producer after commencement of telecast. The programme is marketed by Doordarshan. The scheme also has provisions for payment of bonus on approved production cost on attainment of high TRPs, and for reduction of production cost in case of poor performance of programme.

Terrestrial Coverage of Doordarshan : The coverage of the two terrestrial channels of Doordarshan is shown below :

Terrestrial Coverage of Doordarshan
Channel Coverage (%) National average (As on 30.6.2006)
By Area By Population
DDI 79.4 9.4
DD News 24.4 48.5

DD Direct + : Doordarshan's free-to-air Direct-to-Home service DD Direct + was launched by the Prime Minister on 16 December 2004. Starting with 33 TV channels (Doordarshan/Private) and 12 Radio (AIR) channels, the capacity of the service was increased 36 TV channels and 20 Radio channels. The signal of this service can be received all over India, except A&N Islands, with the help of a receiver system. The subscriber base of this service is in excess of 5 million.

DD-National Channel

DD-I Channel (National)

Doordarshan DD-I Channel continues to make significant contributions to accelerate socio-economic changes, promote national integration, stimulate scientific temperament, disseminate knowledge, educational programmes, public awareness, means of population control, messages on family welfare, preservation of environment and ecological balance, measures for women welfare, children and under-privileged, etc. It also promoted sports, and artistic and cultural heritage of the country.

Apart from Public Service Broadcasts, it also telecasts entertainment programmes, including serials on different subjects of social relevance as sponsored/commissioned/Self Financed Commissioned programmes, films, etc.

The service of National Channel is available in terrestrial mode as well as satellite mode from 5.30 AM to 00.00 (mid-night) and thereafter in satellite mode till next morning up to 5.30 AM.

Regional Language Satellite Service : The eleven regional Language Satellite Services are :

  • DD-Malayalam
  • DD-Saptagiri (Telugu)
  • DD-Bengali
  • DD-Chandana (Kannada)
  • DD-Oriya
  • DD-Sahyadri (Marathi)
  • DD-Gujarati
  • DD-Kashir (Kashmiri)
  • DD-Punjabi
  • DD-North-East
  • DD-Podhigai (Tamil)

The Regional Language Satellite Services and Regional State Networks broadcast a wide spectrum of programmes covering developmental news, serials, documentaries, news and current affairs programmes to communicate with the and film programmes as other major genres are also telecast.

  • Regional State Network : The Regional State networks cater to the people living in Hindi Belt comprising U.P., Bihar, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, M.P. Rajasthan, Haryana and H.P. The programmes of this service are produced and broadcast from the capital Kendras of the respective states between 3.00 and 8.00 pm and are relayed by all the ground transmitters of the state.
  • DD-News : The DD-News channel the country's only 24 hours terrestrial news channel telecasts over 16 hours of live news bulletins daily in Hindi and English. News Headlines, News updates, breaking news on the scroller are regular features on this channel. A daily bulletin in Sanskrit and Urdu is also telecast. Besides, the Regional News Units attached to different Doordarshan Kendras also telecast daily news bulletins in regional languages of varying duration and frequency. The DD News headlines can now be accessed through the SMS.

    DD News also carries Stock and Commodities indices throughout the day in an automated delivery mode, accessing information from NSE & BSE and leading commodity exchanges like NCDEX, MCX, etc.

  • DD Sports : DD Sports remains the country's only free-to-air sports channel. It continues to provide coverage to international and domestic games, including cricket, football, hockey, tennis, kabaddi, Archery, Athletics and other indigenous games, etc.

    A cash outflow system was introduced to cover non-Olympic and traditional sports on DD Sports. The channel continued to cover sporting events organized by the different Sports Federations and Association.

  • DD Bharati : DD-Bharati Channel was launched on 26 January 2002. Besides programmes on adventure, quiz contests, fine arts/paintings, crafts and designs, cartoons, talent hunts, etc., it also telecasts ''MERI BAAT'' an hour-long phone-in 'live' show with young people.

    Programmes emphasizing on a healthy life style and focusing on prevention rather than cure, both in our traditional and modern forms of medicine are also being telecast. Classical dance/music performances by top class artists of national and international fame are also featured on this channel are programmes on theatre, literature, music, paintings, sculpture and architecture.

    The channel also telecast programmes in collaboration with organizations like IGNCA, CEC, IGNOU, PSBT, NCERT and Sahitya Akademi. The channel also provides extensive coverage to the AIR sangeet sammelans. Contributions made by the Regional Doordarshan Kendra's are regularly telecast live/recorded.

  • DD India : The programming on this channel continues to be done in a manner to enable it to meet its primary objective of providing a window to the world especially for the Indian diaspora to witness the Indian social, cultural, political and economic scene. The Channel continues to carry news bulletins in Hindi, English, Urdu, Sanskrit, Gujarati, Malayalam and Telugu, features on topical events and discussions on issues of international significance. It also beams many entertainment programmes, serials, theatre, music and dance besides feature films.

    Programmes in regional languages such as Punjabi, Urdu, Telugu, Tamil, Bengali, Kannada, Malayalam, Gujarati and Marathi form an essential ingredient of this channel. Live Coverage of national events like Independence Day, Republic Day Celebrations, the Budget presentation and other happenings of national and international importance are regularly carried on this channel.

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Source: India 2010 - A Reference Annual

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