Television

New addition to DD family soon by the name Bharati

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 Prof UR Rao's first announcement after taking charge as chairman of pubcaster Prasar Bharati's board recently was to declare that two non-performing channels of national broadcaster Doordarshan would be shut down some time soon. Well before that a new edutainment channel with a commitment to public service broadcasting to cater to the needs of children, health, music, dance and fine arts is being launched. DD Bharati is scheduled to go on air from Republic Day, 26 January, 2002.

DD Bharati will be a 24-hour channel available on PAS-10 on transponder no C-19 and C-23, both in analog and digital mode.

The channel will feature four hours of health programmes from 6 am, followed by six hours of children's programmes from 2 pm. The channel will also have four hours of programmes on music, dance, fine arts from 8 pm.

Doordarshan has broken up DD Bharati's programming into three segments. The morning segment will focus on meditation, yoga, and alternative systems of medicine, discussions with experts, documentary features on health related issues, and health news. It may also incorporate a one-hour segment of live phone-ins on health issues daily, officials say.

The second segment, which will focus on children aged between four and 18 years, will telecast cartoon films, wild life films, children's serials, counseling and sports, talent hunts, 'antakshari' programmes and magic shows. A unique feature would be a news bulletin 'by children for children'. Now didn't we hear the same one from southern animation major Pentamedia at the launch of its kids' channel Splash?

The third segment will feature music, dance, fine arts, Indian classic music, countdown shows, event based programmes and travel shows. Folk, devotional and tribal music will also feature in this segment.

Purportedly a showcase of Indian culture, DD Bharati will focus on presenting the best of the country's literature through telefilms and serials. There will be documentaries on Gyanpeeth and Sahitya Akademi award winners too.

Prasar Bharati has now invited private producers to make programmes under the sponsored category for DD Bharati's prime time (8 to 10.30 pm) as well as the non-prime time slots.

The deadline for submitting programme proposals to DD is 5 pm on 9 November.

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