Type Broadcast, radio, television network and online
Country India
Availability Nationwide
Motto Satyam Shivam Sundaram
Headquarters New Delhi, Delhi
Owner Government of India
Key people
Supriya Sahu, Director-General
Launch date
15 September 1959 (1959-09-15)
Former names
All India Radio
Picture format
576i (4:3 SDTV)
1080i (16:9 HDTV)
Official website

Doordarshan (abbreviated in English as DD) is an autonomous[1] public service broadcaster founded by the Government of India, which is owned by the Broadcasting Ministry of India and is one of two divisions of Prasar Bharati.[2] It is one of India's largest broadcasting organisations in terms of studio and transmitter infrastructure, having been established on 15 September 1959.[3] It also broadcasts on digital terrestrial transmitters. DD provides television, radio, online and mobile services throughout metropolitan and regional India, as well as overseas, through the Indian Network and Radio India.



Doordarshan had a modest beginning as an experimental telecast starting in Delhi on 15 September 1959, with a small transmitter and a makeshift studio. Regular daily transmission started in 1965 as a part of All India Radio. Doordarshan began a five-minute news bulletin in the same year. Pratima Puri was the first newsreader. Salma Sultan joined Doordarshan in 1967, and later became a news anchor.

Krishi Darshan started telecast on Doordarshan on 26 January 1967 and is the longest running program on Indian television.[4]

The television service was extended to Bombay (now Mumbai) and Amritsar in 1972. Up until 1975, only seven Indian cities had a television service and Doordarshan remained the sole provider of television in India.

Television services were separated from radio on 1 April 1976.[5] Each office of All India Radio and Doordarshan was placed under the management of two separate Director Generals in New Delhi.

Finally, in 1982, Doordarshan took shape as a National Broadcaster.

Nationwide transmission and colour television

National telecasts (DD National) were introduced in 1982. In the same year, colour TV was introduced to India with the live telecast of the Independence Day speech by the Prime Minister of India, Indira Gandhi, on 15 August 1982. This was followed by the colour telecast of 1982 Asian Games held in Delhi.[6][7]

For the 2012 Summer Olympics, live telecasts of the opening and closing ceremonies of the games were broadcast on its national channel. DD Sports provided round-the-clock coverage of sport events.[8]

On 17 November 2014, Doordarshan relaunched with a new theme of pink and purple, accompanied by a new punchline, Desh Ka Apna Channel, meaning "the country's own channel". It was announced by Vijayalaxmi Chhabra, Director General of Doordarshan.[9]

Now, Doordarshan transmits through a network of nearly 1,400 terrestrial transmitters. There are about 46 Doordarshan studios producing TV programmes.[10]


Doordarshan operates 34 channels:

  • Two All India channels (available terrestrially), DD National and DD News[11]
  • 16 regional language satellite channels (RLSC), 11 state networks (SN), an international channel, a sports channel, DD Sports, DD Bharati, DD Urdu & DD Kisan.

On DD National aka (DD-1), regional programs and local programs are carried on a time-sharing basis. DD News channel, launched on 3 November 2003, which replaced the DD Metro formerly known as the DD-2 entertainment channel, provides 24-hour news service.

The regional languages satellite channels have two components – the regional service for the particular state relayed by all terrestrial transmitters in the state and additional programs in the regional language in prime time and non-prime time available only through cable operators.

DD-Sports Channel is exclusively devoted to the broadcasting of sporting events of national and international importance. This is the only sports channel which telecasts rural sports like kho-kho and kabbadi.

Current channels

Name Genres Language Area
DD National Entertainment Hindi & English National
DD News News Hindi & English National
DD Sports Sports Hindi & English National
DD Bharati Cultural, Infotainment Hindi & English National
DD Kisan Agricultural, Infotainment Hindi National
DD Urdu Entertainment Urdu National
DD India International, Entertainment English & Hindi International
DD Bangla Entertainment Bengali West Bangal
DD Bihar Entertainment Hindi & Bhojpuri Bihar
DD Chandana Entertainment Kannada Karnataka
DD Girnar Entertainment Gujarati Gujarat
DD Kashir Entertainment Kashmiri, Dogri, Hindi & Urdu Jammu & Kashmir
DD Madhya Pradesh Entertainment Hindi Madhya Pradesh
DD Malayalam Entertainment Malayalam Kerala
DD North-East Entertainment Assamese, Hindi & English North-East
DD Odia Entertainment Odia Odisha
DD Podhigai Entertainment Tamil Tamil Nadu
DD Punjabi Entertainment Punjabi Punjab
DD Sahyadri Entertainment Marathi Maharashtra
DD Saptagiri Entertainment Telugu Andhra Pradesh
DD Rajasthan Entertainment Hindi & Rajasthani Rajasthan
DD Uttar Pradesh Entertainment Hindi & Urdu Uttar Pradesh
DD Yadagiri Entertainment Telugu Telangana
DD Port Blair Information, Education & Entertainment Hindi (main)

Bengali, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam (slots)

Port Blair,

A & N Islands

Closed or renamed channels

  • DD 2 (from 1984 to 1993) - later renamed to DD Metro
  • DD Metro (from 1993 to 2003) - later converted to DD News
  • Metro Gold (from October 2000 to Sep 2001) - aired on DD Metro
  • DD International (from March 1995 to Sep 2000) - later renamed to DD World
  • DD World (from Sep 2000 to Jan 2002) - later renamed to DD India
  • DD CNNi (from 30 June 1995 to 31 May 1997)
  • DD 3 (from 1995 to 1996) - later merged With DD Movie Club, and the new channel was named as DD3-Movie Club
  • DD Movie Club (from 1995 to 1996) - later merged with DD 3, and the new channel was named DD3-Movie Club[12]
  • DD3-Movie Club (from 1996 to 1998) - later converted to DD Sports

International broadcasting

DD India is broadcast internationally via satellite. It is available in 146 countries worldwide; however, information on receiving this channel in other countries is not easily available. In the UK, DD India was available through the Eurobird Satellite on the Sky system on Channel 833 (the logo is shown as Rayat TV). Transmissions via Sky Digital ceased in June 2008 and those via DirecTV in the United States in July 2008.


Allegations of the state control

  • Prasar Bharati is the parent body of Doordarshan, and has all board members appointed by the Government of India acting through the Information and Broadcasting Ministry.[13]
  • It had been actively used especially during the Emergency for government propaganda.[14]
  • During Operation Blue Star in 1984, only government sources were used for reporting the story. Here, Doordarshan was complicit in the production of a video that claimed acts of violence which when investigated by independent journalists were found to be false.[15]
  • In 2004, it censored the airing of a controversial documentary on Jayaprakash Narayan, one of the opposition leaders during the Emergency.[16]
  • When Doordarshan broadcast the 70-minute-long Vijayadashami speech of Mohan Bhagwat, the leader of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), the Narendra Modi administration and the BJP were criticized for "misusing" the public broadcaster. While Director General of DD, Archana Datta issued a clarification on speech and said, "Speech was like any other news event therefore we covered it."[17][18][19]

Commercial viability

  • After private television channels were allowed in 1991, Doordarshan has seen a steep decline in viewership in homes, due to general public acceptance of cable and satellite television, which in 2002 was just at 2.38% for DD National.[20]
  • While it earns significant advertising revenue due to the compulsory feed given to it by the highest bidder to national events, including cricket tournaments,[20] there has been a proposal to give it funds by imposing a license fee to own a television in India.[21]


See also


  1. "Govt plans own channel, real autonomy for Doordarshan - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 2017-09-18.
  2. "The future of Doordarshan is on the block".
  3. "Doordarshan turns 57; watch video of its first telecast plus 7 lesser-known facts about DD".
  4. Sharmila Mitra Deb, Indian Democracy: Problems and Prospects, Anthem Press, 2009, ISBN 978-81-907570-4-1, the well-known program Krishi Darshan, which started its telecast on January 26, 1967... 'informing' and 'educating' the farmers about improving agricultural productivity
  5. Kamat, Payal. "Short essay on Development of Television in India". Retrieved 20 December 2016.
  6. Flashback 1982: The Asian Games that transformed Delhi
  7. 1982-Colour television is introduced: Out of the dark ages
  8. "Doordarshan to live telecast London Olympics opening and closing ceremonies". The Times of India. 25 July 2012.
  9. "DD National to be relaunched as 'Desh Ka Apna Channel'". 15 November 2014.
  10. Doordarshan Channel List (2017). DD Free Dish Channels, 17 February 2017
  12. "'We Have To Air The Government's Plans'". Retrieved 20 December 2016.
  14. "Channel war drives DD to shelve bias". New Delhi: The Telegraph. 26 January 2004. Retrieved 29 May 2012.
  15. Archived 17 October 2006 at the Wayback Machine.
  16. Kuldip Nayar Posted: 9 November 2004 at 0012 hrs IST (9 November 2004). "Censoring his own past". Indian Express. Retrieved 29 May 2012.
  17. "Doordarshan telecasts RSS chief's speech live, stirs controversy". The Times of India. 3 October 2014.
  18. Kalbag, Chaitanya (3 October 2014). "A dangerous line was crossed when Doordarshan telecast Bhagwat's speech live". Quartz.
  19. "RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat's speech covered just like a news event: Doordarshan". The Indian Express. 3 October 2014.
  20. 1 2 "DD leads viewership sweepstakes &#151 Tops among all homes nationwide, but lowest in C&S". The Hindu Business Line. 23 July 2002. Retrieved 29 May 2012.
  21. Himanshi Dhawan (10 July 2007). "Govt mulls 'licence fee' on every colour TV". The Times of India. Retrieved 29 May 2012.
  22. SCREEN, New Delhi, 19 March 1971, & The Sunday Standard, Bombay, 10 June 1973.
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