DD National

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DD National
Dd national.jpg
DD National logo
Owned byDoordarshan
Picture format4:3 576i (SDTV)
16:9 1080i (HDTV)
Broadcast areaInternational
HeadquartersNew Delhi, India
Sister channel(s)DD India
DD News
DD Sports
DD Bharati
WebsiteDD National
DVB-T2 (India)Check local frequencies
Dish TVChannel 193
Tata SkyChannel 114
Big TVChannel 205
Airtel Digital TVChannel 148
Sun Direct DTHChannel 310
DD Free DishChannel 1
Videocon d2hChannel 149
Cignal Digital TVChannel 171 (SD)
G SatComing Soon
SkyCable PhilippinesChannel 233 (Digital)
Cablelink PhilippinesChannel 243
Channel 116 (Analog)
Channel 233 (Digital)
Asianet Digital TV (India)Channel 500
Streaming media
DD National live[1]

DD National (DD1) is a state-owned general interest terrestrial television channel in India. It is the flagship channel of Doordarshan, the Indian public service broadcaster, and the most widely available terrestrial television channel in India.[1]

DD National does not have editorial independence and is controlled by the state and the ruling political party.[2]


Beginning: 1959 to 1982[edit]

On 15 September 1959, at the studio of All India Radio, Delhi, the very first TV channel in India started an experimental telecast with a small transmitter and a makeshift studio. Until 1965, DD was part of All India Radio, so all the regular daily transmissions were operated by All India Radio. On 15 August 1982, Doordarshan introduced a national telecast service from its own TV studio in Mandi House, New Delhi. This telecast was named DD1 Channel and started regular transmission. Krishi Darshan, Chaupaal, Samachar, and Kalyani were the first programs on the channel.

Golden days as national channel: 1982 to 1992[edit]

In 1984, DD1 Channel started telecast of sponsored TV serials, which were produced by veteran filmmakers. Hum Log was the first TV serial of Indian television, and started airing on 7 July 1984. After the success of Hum Log, many other TV producers and filmmakers created many popular shows.

The Sword of Tipu Sultan, Mirza Ghalib, Akbar Birbal, Bahadur Shah Zafar, Bharat Ek Khoj, Mahabharat, Ramayan, Vishwamitra, Luv Kush Uttar Ramayan, Buddha, Malgudi Days, Surabhi, Hum Paanch, Tiltliyan, Taaraa, Yeh Jo Hai Jindagi, Star Trek, Khaandaan, 13 Panne, Air Hostess, Waah Janaab, Tamas, Vikram Aur Betal, Tenali Rama, Kirdaar, Singhasan Battisi, Guldasta, Mrignayani, Shrikant, Sadgati, Nukkad, Yeh Jo Hai Zindagi, Lot Pot, Mungerilal Ke Haseen Sapne, Bhim Bhawani, Kakkaji Kahin, Paying Guest, Ados Pados, Upannyas, Fauji, Karamchand, Vyomkesh Bakshi, Samandar, Param Veer Chakra, Wagle Ki Duniya, Buniyaad, Hum Log, Kachchi Dhoop, Chunauti, Mahanagar, Talash, Umeed, Subah, Mr. Yogi, Circus, Ek Bhool, Chote Babu, Yugantar, Kehkashan, Yatra, Rajni, Street Hawk, Udaan, Gaata Jaaye Banjara, Phool Khile Hain Gulsan Gulsan, Pingu, Circus, Taaj Mahel, Khubsuraat, and Dada Dadi Ki Kahaniya were the most popular serials of those days.

Competition with satellite TV: 1992 to 1997[edit]

After the entry of satellite channels in India, Doordarshan started facing strong competition from Zee TV in 1992. Even though in those days, cable and satellite channels were not easily available, DD-1 was still ruling the chart, as it was available terrestrially. In 1993, Doordarshan launched its second channel for metro/urban audience, DD Metro, and renamed DD1 to DD National, which was targeted at a rural audience.

With the telecast of popular TV shows like Chandrakanta, Alif Laila, Tehkikaat, Chitrahaar, Reporter, Udaan, Byomkesh Bakshi, Farmaan, Katha Sagar, Neem Ka Ped and Chanakya, DD National was good enough for getting viewers, but Doordarshan Board was focusing more on its DD Metro Channel, which was aimed to compete with Zee TV. In the meantime, DD Metro became one of the popular destinations of TV viewers with its shows like Junoon, Superhit Muquabala, and Azanabi. Some of the popular shows were also aired on DD National.

In 1995, when most of the channels like DD Metro, Zee TV, Home TV, STAR Plus and Sony TV started focusing on their prime time slots, DD National was still stacked with its role and responsibilities, as at the time it was only source of news on TV. To provide more entertainment, DD National opened an afternoon slot for housewives, with the telecast of Shanti. To support the success of Shanti, many other shows like Swabhimaan, Farz, and Yug were introduced and all of them were praised.

Losing the battle: 1997 to 2002[edit]

This period was very bad for Doordarshan and its channels. DD National channel started losing its battle with private channels, and DD Metro channel also lost its viewership. In 1997, Prasar Bharati, the parent body of Doordarshan, was formed, but it was not much able to take proper decisions for its channels. Private channels like Zee TV, STAR Plus and Sony TV started airing high budget TV serials from top production houses, where Doordarshan's both channels were failed to get any production with themselves. However DD National was still doing the best in afternoon slots with Kasam, Itihaas, Agni, Aprajita, Aurat, Ardhangini, Sanjog, Deewar, Aane Wala Pal, Waqt Ki Raftaar and many more programs, but in prime time, it was losing its ground. There were a few notable programs like India's Most Wanted, Gul Sanobar, Surabhi, Noorjahan, Om namah Shivay, Jai Ganga Maiya, and Suraag, but those were not enough to give competition to private channels.

In the late 1997, DD National started airing Mukesh Khanna's Shaktimaan, which was the blockbuster TV serial in Indian history. In 2000, after tasting the success of India's Most Wanted, Jasoos Vijay and Suraag in prime time, Prasar Bharati decided to revamp its both channels, and many new serials were introduced on DD National, but very few of them were successful because of limited prime time slots. DD National had only 9-10:30 for showing prime time content, while other channels had the 8-11 slot for prime time. New channels like Sahara TV and SAB TV were also performing better than DD channels in prime time.

Reclaiming the viewership: 2002 to 2010[edit]

In 2002, DD offered its time slots to popular filmmakers, and got some popular shows of the time. Ramanand Sagar's Aankhen, BR Chopra's Aap Beeti, Adhikaari Brothers CID Officer, Kiran Bedi's Galti Kiski, and Time's Dishayen were telecasted on the channels and prized by viewers. In 2003, when DD Metro Channel was converted into DD News, Prasar Bharati focused on its DD national channels, and shows like Meher, Miss India, Kayamat, Kaanch, and Phir Bhi Dil Hai Hindustani were introduced. In 2005, Hawayein starring Ravi Kishan-Malini Kapoor became one of the most popular shows and also won title of Best TV Serial of the Year at the ITA Awards.

In this period, DD introduced many popular serials like Air Hostess, Wo Huye Na hamare, Kyunki Jeena Isi Ka Naam Hai, Tum Dena Sath Mera, Hari Mirchi lal Mirchi, Soni Mahiwaal, Wheel Smart Shrimati, Krazzy Kiya Re, Chandramukhi, Jo Kahunga Sach Kahunga, Tahreer Munshi Premchand Ki, and Kashmkash Zindagi Ki. These serials were praised, and with the help of these serials DD National managed itself in the race of TRP.

Lost identification and relaunch: 2010 to present[edit]

In this period, DD National suffered from low quality serials. At prime-time, it was still not able to compete with private channels, and it also started losing its peak position in afternoon slots to re-runs of other channels. In 2012, after losing more than ever before, DD started airing Ekta Kapoor's Pavitra Bandhan, Sanjay leela Bhansali's Saraswatichandra and a few other serials, but this was not enough for its revival. In 2013, it reduced its window for regional telecasts to 4PM-7PM, and stopped airing news at night, which added one and a half hour to its prime time. To enrich the new four-hour long prime time, DD brought TV serials like Gora, Bharat Ki Shaan, Baba Aazmi's Yeh Kaha Aa Gaye Hum, Dil Jo Kah Na Saka, and Sanjeev Kapoor's Chef Ki Rasoi. It also launched a campaign for its afternoon slots, "DD Dophar Aapke Ghar", by airing serials like Amrita, Anudamini, Aisa Prem Kahan, and Chupau Kaise Laaga Chunari Me Daag.

In November 2014, Prasar Bharati relaunched DD National as Desh Ka Apna Channel with a new theme and serials like Happy Homes, Khwabon Ke Darmiyaan, Khamosh Sa Afsaana, Dard Ka Rishta, Paltan, Stree shakti, Zindagi Ek Bhanwar, and Janmon Ka Bandhan. Initially these shows did better, but after monitoring their performance, in 2016 Prasar Bharati decided to go for a slot sale policy and invited bids from film makers for its 7 PM to 11 PM slot. Afternoon slots in 2016 aired serials like Krantijyoti Savitribai Phule, U-turn, and Munidhar.

In late 2016, the Slot Sale Policy of DD was put on hold by Media and Broadcasting Minister Smriti Irani. Although many production houses Like Balaji Telefilms, and SaaiBaba Telefilms have won slots for airing their programs, but it could not commenced as it was reported for review. From 2017, Doordarshan does not telecasting any new Serial on its Prime Time and Mid Prime-time slots as well. It is just repeat telecasting its own old serials from library.

This is how, once a pioneer have lost its image.

Prasar Bharati Board[edit]

  • Chairman — Dr. A. Surya Prakash
  • Chief Executive Officer — Shri Shashi Shekhar Vempati
  • Member (Personnel) — Vacant
  • Member (Finance) — Shri Rajeev Singh

Part-time members[edit]

  • Additional Secretary and Representative of Ministry of Information & Broadcasting — Shri Ali R. Rizvi
  • Ex Officio members — Tripurari Sharan, DG, Doordarshan and L.D. Mandloi, DG, All India Radio
  • Part time member : Kajol

Sports broadcasting[edit]

Usually, all One Day and Twenty20 international cricket matches involving and/or hosted by India are shown live on DD National. It also broadcast the 2014 Men's Hockey World Cup matches involving India, and also the semifinal and final matches. ICC Champions trophy was also broadcast by dd national.

But As per the order of Honorable Supreme Court of India, on 22 August 2017, DD National is restricted to telecast Live matches on medium other than DTH and cable. To watch live matches on DTH you have to now subscribe to Star or Ten network channels. You don’t have to pay for watching DD National. They are simply not allowed to telecast live matches for those paying. If you want to watch a live match on DD National simply use the classic antenna or DD Free Dish.

Editorial independence[edit]

The idea of autonomy for the government-controlled Doordarshan was first mooted when the Janata Party came to power in 1977, in the aftermath of Emergency when the Doordarshan ended up as the government's mouthpiece. The idea was revived when the Janata Dal took office in 1989. The following Congress and non-Congress governments showed no interest in the autonomy despite making politically correct noises about autonomy.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "India's largest terrestrial network" (Press release). Associated Press. Archived from the original on 6 April 2007. Retrieved 22 July 2007.
  2. ^ a b "Rediff On The NeT: Autonomy appears a pipe dream for Doordarshan". Rediff.com. 11 February 1999. Retrieved 10 April 2013.