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

TypeBroadcast, satellite television, Internet, OTT
MottoSatyam Shivam Sundaram
HeadquartersNew Delhi, Delhi
OwnerPrasar Bharati
Key people
A. Surya Prakash, Chairperson
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



The channel began modestly as an experimental broadcaster in Delhi on 14 September 1959, with a small transmitter and a makeshift studio. Regular daily transmission started in 1965 as part of All India Radio, with a five-minute news bulletin read by Pratima Puri. Salma Sultan joined Doordarshan in 1967, and became a news anchor.

Krishi Darshan debuted on Doordarshan on 26 January 1967, and is Indian television's longest running program.[4]

Television service was extended to Bombay (now Mumbai) and Amritsar in 1972. Until 1975 only seven Indian cities had television service, and Doordarshan was the country's sole television provider.

Television service was separated from radio on 1 April 1976.[5] The All India Radio and Doordarshan were placed under the management of separate directors-general in New Delhi. In 1982, Doordarshan became a national broadcaster.

Nationwide transmission

National telecasts (DD National) were introduced in 1982. Colour television began in India with the live telecast of the Independence Day speech by Prime Minister Indira Gandhi on 15 August of that year, followed by the colour telecast of the 1982 Asian Games in Delhi.[6][7] Live telecasts of the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2012 Summer Olympics were broadcast on its national channel, and DD Sports provided round-the-clock coverage.[8]

On 17 November 2014, Doordarshan director-general Vijayalaxmi Chhabra introduced a pink-and-purple colour scheme and a new slogan: Desh Ka Apna Channel ("The country's own channel").[9] Doordarshan transmitted over a network of nearly 1,400 terrestrial transmitters in 2017, with 46 studios producing TV programmes.[10] After the introduction of private channels Doordarshan is struggling to keep its position in the television space.[11] Currently Doordarshan is trying to improve its studios and programmes while its primary aim is to serve the country.[12]


Doordarshan operates 46 Studios, it operates 21 channels: two all-India channels (DD National and DD News),[13] 17 regional satellite channels, 11 state networks, an international channel (DD India), a sports channel (DD Sports), DD Bharati, DD Urdu and DD Kisan. On DD National (DD-1), regional and local programs are carried on a time-sharing basis for terrestrial broadcasting only. DD News, launched on 3 November 2003 and replacing DD Metro (formerly known as the DD-2 entertainment channel), provides 24-hour news. These channels are relayed by all terrestrial transmitters in India. The regional-language satellite channels have two components: a regional service for a particular state (relayed by all terrestrial transmitters in the state), and additional programs in the regional language available through cable operators and DTH operators. DD Sports broadcasts sporting events of national and international importance. It is the only sports channel which telecasts rural sports such as kho-kho and kabbadi.

A new regional channel, DD Arunprabha (a 24/7 satellite television channel focusing on the North Eastern region) was scheduled to begin on 15 February 2018;[14][15] however, its launch was placed on hold.[16] DD Arunprabha was launched on 9 February 2019.[17]

On 9 March 2019, Prasar Bharati brought 11 more State DD Channels on the Satellite footprint of India through DD Free Dish. This includes five channels for Northeastern states. This will go a long way in strengthening regional cultures and fulfilling people's aspirations. These are – DD Chhattisgarh, DD Goa, DD Haryana, DD Himachal Pradesh, DD Jharkhand, DD Manipur, DD Meghalaya, DD Mizoram, DD Nagaland, DD Tripura and DD Uttarakhand.[18][19]

Channel list

National channels

Channel Programming Language
DD National General Entertainment Hindi & English
DD News News Hindi & English
DD India News English
DD Sports Sports Hindi & English
DD Bharati Art & Cultural Infotainment Hindi & English
DD Kisan Agricultural Infotainment Hindi
DD Urdu Infotainment Urdu

Regional channels

Channel Language Region
DD Arunprabha Hindi & English Arunachal Pradesh
DD Bangla Bengali West Bengal
DD Bihar Hindi & Bihari Bihar
DD Chandana Kannada Karnataka
DD Girnar Gujarati Gujarat
DD Kashir Kashmiri & Urdu Jammu and Kashmir
DD Madhya Pradesh Hindi Madhya Pradesh
DD Malayalam Malayalam Kerala
DD North East Assamese, Hindi & English Northeast India
DD Odia Odia Odisha
DD Podhigai Tamil Tamil Nadu
DD Punjabi Punjabi Punjab
DD Rajasthan Hindi & Rajasthani Rajasthan
DD Sahyadri Marathi Maharashtra
DD Saptagiri Telugu Andhra Pradesh
DD Uttar Pradesh Hindi Uttar Pradesh
DD Yadagiri Telugu Telangana

State Network

Channel Language Region
DD Chhattisgarh Hindi Chhattisgarh
DD Haryana Hindi Haryana
DD Himachal Pradesh Hindi Himachal Pradesh
DD Jharkhand Hindi Jharkhand
DD Manipur Manipuri Manipur
DD Meghalaya Khasi & English Meghalaya
DD Mizoram Mizo Mizoram
DD Nagaland English Nagaland
DD Tripura Bengali & Kokborok Tripura
DD Uttarakhand Hindi Uttarakhand

UT Network

Channel Language Region
DD Andaman and Nicobar Hindi, Bengali, Tamil, Telugu & Malayalam Andaman and Nicobar Islands
DD Chandigarh Hindi & Punjabi Chandigarh
DD Dadra and Nagar Haveli Hindi, Gujarati & Marathi Dadra and Nagar Haveli
DD Daman and Diu Hindi, Gujarati and Marathi Daman and Diu
DD Delhi Hindi Delhi
DD Lakshadweep Malayalam Lakshadweep
DD Pondicherry Tamil, Telugu & Malayalam Puducherry

Closed or renamed channels

  • DD 2 (1984–1993): Renamed DD Metro.
  • DD Metro (1993–2003): Converted to DD News.
  • Metro Gold (October 2000 – September 2001): Aired on DD Metro.
  • DD International (March 1995 – September 2000): Renamed DD World.
  • DD World (September 2000 – January 2002): Renamed DD India.
  • DD CNNi (30 June 1995 – 31 May 1997)
  • DD 3 (1995–1996): Merged with DD Movie Club and renamed DD3-Movie Club.
  • DD Movie Club (1995–1996): Merged with DD 3 and renamed DD3-Movie Club.
  • DD3-Movie Club (1996–1998): Converted to DD Sports.

International broadcasting

The DD India satellite channel has been broadcast in 146 countries. In UK, it was available through the Eurobird satellite on the Sky system's channel 833; its logo was Rayat TV. Transmission via Sky Digital ended in June 2008, and via DirecTV in the United States the following month.


Prasar Bharati is Doordarshan's parent body, and its board members are appointed by the Government of India through the Information and Broadcasting Ministry.[20] Doordarshan has been used, especially during the Emergency, to disseminate government propaganda.[21] During Operation Blue Star in 1984, only government sources were used to report the story. Doordarshan was complicit in the production of a video claiming acts of violence which, when investigated by independent journalists, were found to be false.

In 2004 it censored a controversial documentary on Jayaprakash Narayan, an opposition leader during the Emergency.[22] When Doordarshan broadcast a 70-minute Vijayadashami speech by Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) leader Mohan Bhagwat, the Narendra Modi administration and the BJP were criticised for "misusing" the public broadcaster. According to DD director-general Archana Datta, the "speech was like any other news event; therefore, we covered it."[23][24][25]

Since private television channels were authorised in 1991, Doordarshan has experienced a steep decline in viewership. Although it earns significant advertising revenue—due to its compulsory feed—from the highest bidder for national events (including cricket matches),[26] there has been a proposal to fund it by imposing a licence fee to own a television in India.[27]

See also


  1. "Govt plans own channel, real autonomy for Doordarshan". The Times of India. Retrieved 18 September 2017.
  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) Archived 17 February 2017 at the Wayback Machine. DD Free Dish Channels, 17 February 2017
  11. "Doordarshan: A struggle for relevance". The Financial Express. 6 March 2018. Retrieved 10 February 2019.
  12. Excelsior, Daily (7 February 2019). "India's radio signals got more reach in Pakistan than their in India: Rathore". Jammu Kashmir Latest News | Tourism | Breaking News J&K. Retrieved 10 February 2019.
  14. "PM Modi To Launch New Doordarshan Channel for the North East in Arunachal Pradesh". Retrieved 26 November 2018.
  15. "PM to launch DD Arun Prabha on Feb 15". The Times of India. Retrieved 26 November 2018.
  16. "Launch of DD's Arun Prabha put on hold". The Asian Age. 7 October 2018. Retrieved 26 November 2018.
  17. "PM Modi launches DD Arun Prabha channel in Itanagar today". Retrieved 10 February 2019.
  18. "11 more State DD Channels on Satellite footprint". NewsOnAIR. Retrieved 9 March 2019.
  19. "Prasar Bharati brought 11 more state Doordarshan channels on satellite footprint: PM Modi". TheIndianExpress. Retrieved 9 March 2019.
  21. "Channel war drives DD to shelve bias". The Telegraph. New Delhi. 26 January 2004. Retrieved 29 May 2012.
  22. Kuldip Nayar Posted: 9 November 2004 at 0012 hrs IST (9 November 2004). "Censoring his own past". The Indian Express. Retrieved 29 May 2012.
  23. "Doordarshan telecasts RSS chief's speech live, stirs controversy". The Times of India. 3 October 2014.
  24. Kalbag, Chaitanya (3 October 2014). "A dangerous line was crossed when Doordarshan telecast Bhagwat's speech live". Quartz.
  25. "RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat's speech covered just like a news event: Doordarshan". The Indian Express. 3 October 2014.
  26. "DD leads viewership sweepstakes &#151 Tops among all homes nationwide, but lowest in C&S". Business Line. 23 July 2002. Retrieved 29 May 2012.
  27. Himanshi Dhawan (10 July 2007). "Govt mulls 'licence fee' on every colour TV". The Times of India. Retrieved 29 May 2012.
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