AvailabilityNationwide and worldwide
Mottoसत्यम् शिवम् सुंदरम्
("Truth is beautiful and Shiva (the Lord) is beautiful")
HeadquartersNew Delhi, Delhi
Broadcast area
India and the World
OwnerMinistry of Information and Broadcasting,
Government of India
ParentPrasar Bharati
Key people
Mayank Kumar Agrawal (CEO)
Launch date
15 September 1959; 64 years ago (1959-09-15)
Picture format
1080i (HDTV)
(downscaled to 16:9 576i for the SDTV feed)
Callsign meaning
Official website
LanguageHindi, English, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi, Bengali, Gujarati, Meitei, Assamese, Odia

Doordarshan (abbreviated as DD; lit.'distant vision, television') is an Indian state-owned public television broadcaster founded by the Government of India, owned by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and one of Prasar Bharati's two divisions.[1] As one of India's largest broadcasting organisations in studio and transmitter infrastructure, it was established on 15 September 1959.[2] Doordarshan, which also broadcasts on digital terrestrial transmitters, provides television, radio, online and mobile services throughout metropolitan and regional India and overseas.



A sheet of stamps released in 2019 on the occasion of Doordarshan's 60th Foundation Day
A stamp on Doordarshan's 60th Foundation Day

The channel began modestly as an experimental broadcaster in Delhi on 15 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. Later Gitanjali Aiyar, Neethi Ravindran, and Rini Simon became popular news anchors in the '70s.[3]

Krishi Darshan debuted on Doordarshan on 26 January 1967, and is the Indian television's longest-running programme.[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.[6]

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.[7][8] Two years later, Doordarshan as a TV network finally took shape: the then sole TV channel was split into the nationally aired DD-1 and city channel DD-2, later rebranded in 1993 as DD National and DD Metro to catch up with the then newly privatised TV industry.

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.[9]

On 17 November 2014, Doordarshan director-general Vijayalaxmi Chhabra introduced a pink-and-purple colour scheme with a new slogan: Desh Ka Apna Channel ("The country's own channel").[10] Doordarshan transmitted over a network of nearly 1,400 terrestrial transmitters in 2017, with 46 studios producing TV programmes.[11] After the introduction of the private channels, Doordarshan is struggling to keep its position in the television space.[12] Currently Doordarshan is trying to improve its studios and programmes while its primary aim is to serve the country.[13]


Doordarshan operates 46 studios and 33 television channels, including the two pan-India channels (DD National and DD News),[14] 17 regional satellite channels, 11 state networks, an international channel (DD India), a sports channel (DD Sports), DD Bharati, DD Urdu as the cultural and informative channels and an agricultural channel, DD Kisan. On DD National (formerly DD-1), regional and local programs are carried on a time-sharing basis for terrestrial broadcasting only. DD News was launched on 3 November 2003 by replacing DD Metro (formerly known as the DD-2 entertainment channel), which 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 its broadcasting on 15 February 2018;[15][16] however, its launch was placed on hold.[17] DD Arunprabha was launched on 9 February 2019.[18]

On 9 March 2019, Prasar Bharati brought 11 more state DD channels to the satellite footprint of India through DD Free Dish. This includes five channels for the North-eastern states: DD Bangla, DD Chhattisgarh, DD Goa, DD Haryana, DD Himachal Pradesh, DD Jharkhand, DD Manipur, DD Meghalaya, DD Mizoram, DD Nagaland, DD Tripura and DD Uttarakhand.[19][20] DD Bangla, launched on 9 August 1975, consisting of soap operas, infotainment series, news and current affairs, social programs and films in Bangla in its programming.

On 13 April 2020, DD Retro[21] was launched by Prasar Bharati and showed old classic Hindi serials of Doordarshan. The service, however, shortly ceased its operations on 1 April 2023, due to the low viewership.

Channel list

International channels

Channel Programming Language Notes
DD International[22][23] News and Cultural Infotainment English Proposed
DD India News English SD+HD

National channels

Channel Programming Language SD/HD availability
DD National General Entertainment and News Hindi and English SD+HD
DD News News Hindi
DD Sports Sports Hindi and English
DD Bharati Art and Cultural Infotainment Hindi and English SD
DD Kisan Agricultural Infotainment Hindi
DD Urdu Infotainment Urdu
DD Retro Old Classic General Entertainment Hindi

Regional channels

State network

Channel Language Region
DD Arunprabha Hindi Arunachal Pradesh
DD Assam Assamese Assam
DD Bangla Bengali West Bengal
DD Bihar Hindi Bihar
DD Chandana Kannada Karnataka
DD Chhattisgarh Hindi Chhattisgarh
DD Girnar Gujarati Gujarat
DD Goa Konkani and Marathi Goa
DD Haryana Hindi Haryana
DD Himachal Pradesh Hindi Himachal Pradesh
DD Jharkhand Hindi Jharkhand
DD Madhya Pradesh Hindi Madhya Pradesh
DD Malayalam Malayalam Kerala
DD Manipur (aka DDK Imphal) Meitei (aka Manipuri)[24] Manipur
DD Meghalaya Khasi and English Meghalaya
DD Mizoram Mizo Mizoram
DD Nagaland English Nagaland
DD Odia Odia Odisha
DD Tamil Tamil Tamil Nadu
DD Punjabi Punjabi Punjab
DD Rajasthan Hindi Rajasthan
DD Sahyadri Marathi Maharashtra
DD Saptagiri Telugu Andhra Pradesh
DD Tripura Bengali and Kokborok Tripura
DD Uttarakhand Hindi, Garhwali and Kumaoni Uttarakhand
DD Uttar Pradesh Hindi Uttar Pradesh
DD Yadagiri Telugu Telangana

UT network

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

Former channels

Channel Language From Until
DD Retro Hindi 2020 2023

International broadcasting

The DD India satellite channel has been broadcast in 146 countries. In the United Kingdom, 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.

Record viewership during the pandemic

This article appears to be slanted towards recent events. Please try to keep recent events in historical perspective and add more content related to non-recent events. (March 2023)

Ramayan on DD National created a world record by becoming the highest-viewed entertainment programme globally. The 9 pm show on 16 April 2020 was watched by 77 million viewers.[25] The show managed to reach more than 285 million viewers through the length of the broadcast. As a broadcasting response to the nationwide lockdown, apart from Ramayan, many other nostalgia shows were broadcast on DD network. These included Mahabharat, Chanakya, Shri Krishna, Malgudi Days,Byomkesh Bakshi and Shaktimaan. In light of increasing public demand for such content, Prasar Bharati launched ‘DD Retro’ as a full-time channel dedicated to the same. The channel started garnering viewership of almost 5 crore (50 million) within five weeks of its launch. Delivering on its mandate of public messaging, the DD network, through COVID-focused awareness messages and shows, reached more than 400 million viewers during the first wave of the pandemic in 2020.


Prasar Bharati is Doordarshan's parent body, and its board members are appointed by the Government of India through the Information and Broadcasting Ministry.[26][relevant?discuss]

Doordarshan has been used, especially during the Emergency, to disseminate government propaganda.[27] 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.[citation needed]

In 2004, it censored a controversial documentary on Jayaprakash Narayan, an opposition leader during the Emergency.[28]

In 2014, When Doordarshan broadcast a 70-minute Vijayadashami speech by the 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."[29][30][31]

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),[32] there has been a proposal to fund it by imposing a licence fee to own a television in India.[33]


A film named after the broadcaster, spiritually motivated by the 2003 German film Good Bye, Lenin!, was released in February 2020.

See also


  1. ^ "The future of Doordarshan is on the block". November 2016. Archived from the original on 20 August 2017. Retrieved 20 August 2017.
  2. ^ "Doordarshan turns 57; watch the video of its first telecast plus 7 lesser-known facts about DD". 15 September 2016. Archived from the original on 21 October 2017. Retrieved 13 October 2017.
  3. ^ Kumar, Anuj (7 June 2023). "Gitanjali Aiyar, popular Doordarshan news anchor, passes away". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 31 December 2023.
  4. ^ Sharmila Mitra Deb (July 2009), Indian Democracy: Problems and Prospects, Anthem Press, 2009, ISBN 978-81-907570-4-1, archived from the original on 1 May 2016, retrieved 15 November 2015, 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 (18 January 2012). "Short essay on Development of Television in India". Archived from the original on 4 January 2017. Retrieved 20 December 2016.
  6. ^ "A Brief History of Television in India" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 14 August 2021. Retrieved 14 August 2021.
  7. ^ Bhalla, Sahil (25 September 2014). "Flashback 1982: The Asian Games that transformed Delhi". Archived from the original on 31 December 2021. Retrieved 31 December 2021.
  8. ^ "1982-Colour television is introduced: Out of the dark ages". India Today. 24 December 2009. Archived from the original on 31 December 2021. Retrieved 31 December 2021.
  9. ^ "Doordarshan to live telecast London Olympics opening and closing ceremonies". The Times of India. 25 July 2012. Archived from the original on 13 September 2017. Retrieved 25 July 2012.
  10. ^ "DD National to be relaunched as 'Desh Ka Apna Channel'". 15 November 2014. Archived from the original on 6 December 2014. Retrieved 16 November 2014.
  11. ^ Doordarshan Channel List (2017) Archived 17 February 2017 at the Wayback Machine. DD Free Dish Channels, 17 February 2017
  12. ^ "Doordarshan: A struggle for relevance". The Financial Express. 6 March 2018. Archived from the original on 26 November 2018. Retrieved 10 February 2019.
  13. ^ "India's radio signals got more reach in Pakistan than they are in India: Rathore". Jammu Kashmir Latest News. 7 February 2019. Archived from the original on 12 February 2019. Retrieved 10 February 2019.
  14. ^ Jebaraj, Priscilla (14 September 2010). "'Irregular' Doordarshan appointments quashed". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 6 May 2014. Retrieved 6 May 2014.
  15. ^ "PM Modi To Launch New Doordarshan Channel for the North East in Arunachal Pradesh". Archived from the original on 26 November 2018. Retrieved 26 November 2018.
  16. ^ "PM to launch DD Arun Prabha on Feb 15". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 26 November 2018. Retrieved 26 November 2018.
  17. ^ "Launch of DD's Arun Prabha put on hold". The Asian Age. 7 October 2018. Archived from the original on 26 November 2018. Retrieved 26 November 2018.
  18. ^ "PM Modi launches DD Arun Prabha channel in Itanagar today". Archived from the original on 9 February 2019. Retrieved 10 February 2019.
  19. ^ "11 more State DD Channels on Satellite footprint". NewsOnAIR. Archived from the original on 4 December 2020. Retrieved 9 March 2019.
  20. ^ "Prasar Bharati brought 11 more state Doordarshan channels on satellite footprint: PM Modi". TheIndianExpress. Archived from the original on 7 November 2020. Retrieved 9 March 2019.
  21. ^ "Covid-19 lockdown: Prasar Bharti launches DD Retro to invoke nostalgia". Archived from the original on 16 April 2020. Retrieved 14 April 2020.
  22. ^ "Doordarshan plans to launch DD International to present 'India story'". The Hindu. 19 May 2021. ISSN 0971-751X. Archived from the original on 20 May 2021. Retrieved 20 May 2021.
  23. ^ "Centre to set up the 'BBC-like' channel to push India view". The Indian Express. 20 May 2021. Archived from the original on 20 May 2021. Retrieved 20 May 2021.
  24. ^ Singh, Dr Paramveer (5 August 2021). Indian Silver Screen. K.K. Publications. pp. 43, 65, 66. ...The centre broadcasts most of its programs in the Manipuri language...
  25. ^ Bellman, Eric (28 April 2020). "Coronavirus Lockdown Creates Captive Audience for '80s Show". wsj. Archived from the original on 23 December 2021. Retrieved 27 December 2021.
  26. ^ "Powers of the Director Doordarshan Kendra Bhopal" (PDF). Doordarshan Bhopal. Archived from the original (PDF) on 21 July 2011. Retrieved 28 May 2009.
  27. ^ "Channel war drives DD to shelve bias". The Telegraph. New Delhi. 26 January 2004. Archived from the original on 24 October 2012. Retrieved 29 May 2012.
  28. ^ Kuldip Nayar Posted: 9 November 2004 at 0012 hrs IST (9 November 2004). "Censoring his own past". The Indian Express. Archived from the original on 31 December 2010. Retrieved 29 May 2012.((cite news)): CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  29. ^ "Doordarshan telecasts RSS chief's speech live, stirs controversy". The Times of India. 3 October 2014. Archived from the original on 6 October 2014. Retrieved 4 November 2014.
  30. ^ Kalbag, Chaitanya (3 October 2014). "A dangerous line was crossed when Doordarshan telecast Bhagwat's speech live". Quartz. Archived from the original on 4 November 2014. Retrieved 4 November 2014.
  31. ^ "RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat's speech covered just like a news event: Doordarshan". The Indian Express. 3 October 2014. Archived from the original on 4 November 2014. Retrieved 4 November 2014.
  32. ^ "DD leads viewership sweepstakes &#151 Tops among all homes nationwide, but lowest in C&S". Business Line. 23 July 2002. Archived from the original on 1 June 2005. Retrieved 29 May 2012.
  33. ^ Himanshi Dhawan (10 July 2007). "Govt mulls 'licence fee' on every colour TV". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 11 August 2011. Retrieved 29 May 2012.