Television

For DD, it's time to introspect not celebrate

http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/smartcrop_800x800/public/images/tv-images/2016/09/16/malgudi-days.jpg?itok=iwXcGYWv

NEW DELHI: There were evenings in the 1960s to mid '70s when India, at least those homes fortunate to have TV sets, set their alarm clock in the evening to around 6 pm. It was that time the TV sets came alive with a signature tune and colour bands heralding something exciting.

Those were the days when Indian pubcaster Doordarshan brought the world and entertainment --- in a rationed manner typical of those pre-liberalization days --- to Indian homes via production values that would be considered shoddy by today’s standards.

Cut to circa 2016. TV sets today beam audio and video round the clock by DD, as Doordarshan came to be popularly known as, and a swathe of private sector TV channels.

However, at a time when DD celebrated its Foundation Day (or birthday) on September 15, a question that rankles everybody is: Why does Doordarshan not function like some other pubcasters --- the BBC, NHK, DW, PBS, etc ---- in terms of functioning and quality of programming?

Clearly, it is linked to another question: was Doordarshan doing better off when it was a direct wing of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB), or has it benefitted by become ‘autonomous’ under Prasar Bharati?

Doordarshan since 1959 beamed for half an hour educational programmes three days a week. However, as its programming timing grew, so did the control by the government, which found in DD a perfect tool for propaganda.

Whether the Emergency days during Prime Minister Indira Gandhi or other governments, the government of the day realized the importance of DD’s widening networks and its role in pushing the government agenda.

The Prasar Bharati Bill, paving the way for an autonomous DD and sibling All India Radio, was only notified and formalized in 1997.

Interestingly, DD saw its hey days in the eighties with programmes like ‘Hum Log’; ‘Buniyaad’, ‘Ramayana’, ‘Mahabharat’, 'Tamas’ and ‘Nukkad’, among many others, which not only highlighted India’s cultural traditions but also the ongoing societal changes. In fact, one wonders, whether a serial like `Tamas’, based on India’s partition, could be made today without somebody’s sentiments getting hurt and, in the bargain, getting canned.

Though DD (and AIR) are modeled on the BBC -- as famously described the then MIB Minister Jaipal Reddy in 1997 -- DD’s case is different. Despite being dependent on government funding, it is running low on financial resources with each successive government insisting that Prasar Bharati start generating its own resources, but not letting go of the control. But this is difficult when the network has to compete against more than 800 private channels that are not impeded in terms of programming and other initiatives like DD is.

No wonder the present Prasar Bharati CEO Jawhar Sircar said on DD’s birthday, "We need to look forward...renew our tryst with destiny."

Lines by a Canadian author, who penned ‘Morningstar’, aptly sum up the confused state of Prasar Bharati: “If you think you know what your purpose is, but can never seem to gain satisfaction from it, then it’s probably not the purpose you’re destined for.”

Latest Reads

http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2018/01/19/cc.jpg?itok=vyxpkA3V
Comedy Central sets pace for ultimate celebration with over 100 hours of non-stop FRIENDS ultra marathon for its 6th birthday

Birthdays and New Years are great occasions to make resolutions for participating in marathons. However, this is one marathon which calls for hanging up your running shoes and grabbing the best spot in front of the telly with a bowl of munchies to keep you going because, for the first time ever in...

Television TV Channels English Entertainment
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2018/01/19/usports.jpg?itok=kTmil1B-
U Sports launches India's first ever Multi-Platform Multi-Game E-Sports Championship - U Cypher with MTV

The Indian E-Sports scenario is all set for a major revamp as U Sports, one of India’s biggest sports business companies in association with India’s No. 1 Youth Brand, MTV, announces the premiere of their all new month-long championship, U Cypher with MTV. Premiering today, on 19th January, the...

Television TV Channels Sports
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2018/01/19/dth.jpg?itok=SKeBAh70
TV ownership increased by 14% in 2017: IRS

After a gap of four years, the Indian Readership Survey (IRS), which documents the growth of the media industry, has been released for 2017. The survey methodology was criticised in 2014 and, therefore, was halted for an upgrade. This time, the sample size has been increased by 34 per cent to 3.2...

Television TV Channels Viewership
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2018/01/19/challenge.jpg?itok=evdSw-BZ
CNN-News18 launches 'If I Were FM Challenge'

As part of its Budget programming, CNN-News18 is launching the ‘If I were FM Challenge’. The campaign will encourage viewers to contribute their suggestions for the Union Budget. The channel will run an extensive on-air campaign to promote the same.

Television TV Channels News Broadcasting
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2018/01/19/BBC.jpg?itok=JOGTF9zH
BBC World News to Broadcast 'China's Chat Girls'

Lele Tao is an internet superstar in China’s $3 billion dollar ‘live streaming’ industry. With more than a million fans she can earn thousands of dollars a day singing, dancing, flirting, or often just chatting into her webcam. Fans buy her virtual gifts which she redeems for cash. In return she...

Television TV Channels News Broadcasting
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2018/01/19/anupam.jpg?itok=fMDsUqO6
PKL season 6 and 7 dates announced

The second most watched domestic league in India, Vivo Pro Kabaddi League owned by Mashal Sports and Star India announced the dates of sixth and seventh season.

Television TV Channels Sports
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2018/01/18/star-bharat.jpg?itok=kT6YtkU0
Star Bharat leads Hindi GEC (U+R) in week 2 of BARC ratings

MUMBAI: Star Bharat emerged as the leader in the Hindi GEC (U+R) genre dethroning Zee Anmol according to Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) all India data for week 2 of 2018.

Television TV Channels Viewership
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2018/01/18/aaj-tak-barc.jpg?itok=4sc6BHYP
BARC week 2: Aaj Tak leads Hindi News in all three markets

MUMBAI: Republic TV continues its leading streak in the second week of the year as well in BARC All India ratings. News Nation stays in the top five chart in week 2 of 2018 in Hindi News Rural market. Aaj Tak tops the chart again in Hindi News Urban market.

Television TV Channels Viewership
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2018/01/18/karan-bajaj.jpg?itok=jxlg_oWY
Dsport acquires India rights of tri-nation tournament in SL

Discovery’s sports channel Dsport has acquired the exclusive India broadcast rights of Nidahas Trophy 2018, a tri-nation international T20 tournament involving India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. The transaction was facilitated by Lagardère Sports, the global marketing consultant of Sri Lanka Cricket...

Television TV Channels Sports

Latest News

Load More

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories