Type Broadcast, radio, television network and online
Country India
Availability Nationwide
Founded by Government of India in 1959
Motto Sathyam Shivam Sundaram
Headquarters New Delhi, Delhi, India,
Owner Prasar Bharati
Key people B. S. Lalli, CEO
Launch date 15 September 1959 (1959-09-15)
Former names All India Radio
Picture format 480i (16:9 SDTV)
720p (HDTV)
Official website

Doordarshan (Hindi: दूरदर्शन; literally Far Vision) is an Indian public service broadcaster, a division of Prasar Bharati. It is one of the largest broadcasting organizations in India in terms of the infrastructure of studios and transmitters. Recently, it has also started Digital Terrestrial Transmitters. On September 15, 2009, Doordarshan celebrated its 50th anniversary. The 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 with the experimental telecast starting in Delhi on 15 September 1959 with a small transmitter and a makeshift studio. The regular daily transmission started in 1965 as a part of All India Radio. 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 in 1976. Each office of All India Radio and Doordarshan were placed under the management of two separate Director Generals in New Delhi. Finally, in 1982, Doordarshan as a National Broadcaster came into existence.

Nationwide transmission

National telecasts were introduced in 1982. In the same year, colour TV was introduced in the Indian market with the live telecast of the Independence Day speech by then prime minister Indira Gandhi on 15 August 1982, followed by the 1982 Asian Games which were held in Delhi. Now more than 90 percent of the Indian population can receive Doordarshan (DD National) programmes through a network of nearly 1,400 terrestrial transmitters. There are about 46 Doordarshan studios producing TV programs today.

Early national programming

The 80s were noted for Hum Log (1984), Buniyaad (1986–87) and comedy shows like Yeh Jo Hai Zindagi (1984).

  • Hum Log, Buniyaad, and Nukkad along with mythological dramas such as Ramayan (1987–88) and Mahabharat (1989–90), Shaktimaan, India's First Superhero, glued millions to Doordarshan as did shows such as Bharat Ek Khoj, The Sword of Tipu Sultan and The Great Maratha.
  • Hindi film songs based programs like Chitrahaar, Rangoli, Ek Se Badkar Ek and Superhit Muqabla.
  • Crime thrillers like Barrister Vinod (starring Parikshit Sahni), Karamchand (starring Pankaj Kapoor),Aparadhi Kaun, PC 1008 (starring Kanwaljeet), Police File Se, Byomkesh Bakshi (starring Rajit Kapoor), Reporter(Shekhar Suman), Tehkikaat and Janki Jasoos, Suraag (starring Sudesh Berry).
  • Shows targeted at children include Faerie Tale Theatre, Dada Dadi ki Kahaniyan, Vikram Betaal, Space City Sigma, Stone Boy, Malgudi Days, Tenali Rama, Potli Baba Ki (puppet show), He-Man, Superhuman Samurai Cyber Squad, Knight Rider, Teletubbies, Street Hawk and a horror serial Kile ka Rahasya (1989).
  • Other popular shows include Oshin a Japanese drama series, Trishna, Mr. Yogi, Neem Ka Ped, Circus, Fauji (launching Shahrukh Khan),Rani Laxhmibai,Dastan-E-Hatim Tai,Alif Laila, Gul Gulshan Gulfam, Udaan, Rajani, Talaash, Phir Wohi Talash, Katha Saagar, Nupur, Mirza Ghalib, Wagle ki Duniya, Phulvanti, Sangharsh, Lifeline[disambiguation needed ], Kashish (launching Malvika Tiwari), Srimaan Srimati, Tu Tu Mein Mein, Junoon, Ajnabi (starring Danny Denzongpa), Zabaan Sambhal Ke, Dekh Bhai Dekh, Sansaar, Swabhimaan, Chanakya, Shanti (launching Mandira Bedi), Sea Hawks (starring R. Madhavan), Surabhi, Tana Bana, Mujrim Hazir (launching Navni Parihar), Jaspal Bhatti's Flop Show, Meri Awaaz Suno, Captain Vyom, and Chandrakanta and Tootne Ke Baad (TV Serial by Paigham Afaqui )
  • Not many remember but Doordarshan used to have serials before sponsored programmes came into existence. Serials like Dadi Maa Jagi, Bibi Natiyonwali, Aur Bhi Ghum Hai Zamane Mein, and Laddoo Singh Taxi Wala ( starring Paintal ) were also popular
  • Sarab Sanji Gurbani was the first sponsored programme on Doordarshan, sponsored by Texla TV

Doordarshan also telecast English cartoons at 12.00 noon during summer vacations in a programme named "Fun Time" which showed cartoons like Spider-Man, Giant Robo , Gayab Aaya, Guchhae, He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, Jungle Book Shonen Mowgli (a dubbed Hindi version of a Japanese anime with original music composed by Vishal Bharadwaj), Talespin & Duck Tales also the comic plays of Charlie Chaplin, Laurel & Hardy and Didi's Comedy Show.

  • Among the earliest documentary films produced by Doordarshan in Delhi are The Peacock Calls [Mor Machay Shor] (1968), TRS-FRS (1968), The Floods May Come and Go (1969), and University Girls (1971).[1]
  • Some of the Transtel-Cologne shows that were popularly played on Doordarshan include, Telematch, The Old Fox(Der Alte), Derrick, and Scene of Crime. Doordarshan also played NBC's Knight Rider starring David Hasselhoff and ABC's Street Hawk as part of its Sunday afternoon broadcast during the mid- and late 80s.
  • Doordarshan brought to the Indian viewers geographical documentaries made by the great marine explorer Jacques Cousteau (Secrets of the Sea) and the British naturalist David Attenborough (The Living Planet)


Presently, Doordarshan operates 21 channels – two All India channels-DD National and DD News, 11 Regional language Satellite Channels (RLSC), four State Networks (SN), an International channel, a Sports Channel DD Sports and two channels Rajya Sabha TV & DD-Lok Sabha for live broadcast of parliamentary proceedings.

On DD National (DD-1), Regional programmes and Local Programmes are carried on time-sharing basis. DD News channel, launched on 3 November 2003, which replaced the DD Metro (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 programmes 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 Channels which telecasts rural sports like Kho-Kho, Kabbadi etc. something which private broadcasters will not attempt to telecast as it will not attract any revenues.

List of Channels


  1. DD National
  2. DD News
  3. DD-Rajya Sabha
  4. DD-Lok Sabha
  5. DD Sports
  6. DD Bharti


  1. DD Bangla
  2. DD Chandana
  3. DD Kashmir
  4. DD Urdu
  5. DD Punjabi
  6. DD NorthEast
  7. DD Sahyadri
  8. DD Gujarati
  9. DD Malayalam
  10. DD Podhigai
  11. DD Saptagiri
  12. DD Oriya

Active Doordarshan

It is an Interactive Service of Tata Sky to show 4 TV Channels of Doordarshan which are not available on Tata sky as normal channels. Active Doordarshan channels are DD Kashir, DD Podhigai, DD Punjabi, DD Sahyadri, DD Chandana and DD Gujarati .

DD has its own DTH service called DD Direct Plus. It is free of charge.

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). The timing and programming of DD-India international is different from that of India. Transmissions via Sky Digital (UK & Ireland) ceased in June 2008 and those via DirecTV in the United States in July 2008.


Allegations of bias

  • Doorsharshan does not have an independent editorial control unlike the BBC. Prasar Bharati, its parent body has all board members appointed by the Government of India acting through the Information and Broadcasting Ministry. This control is evident in a budget that allows expenditure on "propaganda and public relations".[2]
  • It has been actively used especially during the Emergency for government propaganda.[3]
  • In 2004, it censored the airing of a controversial documentary on Jayaprakash Narayan, one of the opposition leaders during the Emergency.[4]
  • In response to Pakistani propaganda in the Kashmir valley, Doordarshan launched the Kashir Channel in Kashmir to counter this propaganda. DD Kashir includes programmes focussing on Kashmiri culture and traditions and the history of Kashmir valley.[5][6] One program on Kashmir featured was Budhshah, which told the life of the historical Sultan Zain-ul-Abidin.[7]
  • It has in association with All India Radio established high power transmitters along the India-Pakistan Border to counter Pakistani propaganda.[8]
  • During Operation Bluestar, 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.[9]

Commercial viability

  • Once private television channels were allowed in 1991, Doordarshan has seen a steep decline in viewership in homes with Cable and Satellite Television which in 2002 was just at 2.38% for DD National.[10]
  • While it earns significant advertising revenue due to the compulsory feed given to it by the highest bidder to national events including cricket tournaments,[10] there has been a proposal to give it funds by imposing a license fee to own a television in India like the BBC.[11] However this is unlikely to be imposed keeping in view the financial constraints of the average Indian

See also


External links


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

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