Doordarshan (abbreviated in English as DD) is an autonomous public service broadcaster launched by the Government of India, which is owned by the Broadcasting Ministry of India and is one of two divisions of Prasar Bharati. It is one of India’s biggest broadcasting organizations in terms of studio and transmitter infrastructure, having been set up on 15 September 1959. It also broadcasts on digital terrestrial transmitters. DD grants 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 starting as an experimental telecast starting in Delhi on 15 September 1959, with a small transmitter and a makeshift studio. Regular daily transmission commenced in 1965 as a part of All India Radio. Doordarshan started 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 commenced telecast on Doordarshan on 26 January 1967 and is the longest-running program on Indian television.
- The television work 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 only provider of television in India.
- Television services were bifurcated from the radio on 1 April 1976. Each office of All India Radio and Doordarshan was placed under the management of two separate Director Generals in New Delhi.
- Lastly, in 1982, Doordarshan took shape as a National Broadcaster.
Nationwide transmission and color television
National telecasts (DD National) were launched in 1982. In the same year, color TV was launched 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 taken by the color telecast of 1982 Asian Games held in Delhi. For the 2012 Summer Olympics, live telecasts of the opening and closing ceremonies of the games were shown on its national channel. DD Sports gives round-the-clock coverage of sports events.
On 17 November 2014, Doordarshanreestablished 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. Now, Doordarshan broadcast through a network of nearly 1,400 terrestrial transmitters. There are about 46 Doordarshan studios producing TV programmes.
Doordarshan operates 34 channels:
Two All India channels (available terrestrially), DD National and DD News.
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, established on 3 November 2003, which replaced the DD Metro officially known as the DD-2 entertainment channel, provides 24-hour news service.
The regional languages satellite channels have two components – the regional jobs 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 by 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.