History of Indian DD News
On October 23rd, 2003, a month before DD News channel was launched; there was a plea, by a delegation led by the Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee president, Chaudhary Prem Singh, to stop the DD News channel. The delegation protested against the move by Doordarshan to convert its entertainment channel into a 24-hour news channel. The delegation alleged that this move was clearly aimed at making Doordarshan a tool in the hands of the ruling party and misuses its reach during the forthcoming Assembly polls.
On 1st November, K.S. Sharma, The Chief Executive Officer of Prasar Bharati, said that top television personalities, including Rajat Sharma, Rajeev Malhotra and Nalini Singh, are being contracted to work for the round-the-clock DD News Channel to be launched. It was also decided to cover 22 % of the so far uncovered geographical area of the country through the KU band satellite so as to provide TV viewer ship to the people residing in remote areas.
The newly launched DD News was making waves. In the first week itself, the channel had managed to grab a substantial share of viewers from other Hindi news channels. According to data provided by TAM India, for the week starting November 3, 2003, while Aaj Takcontinued to lead with 29 % share, DD News had 21 per cent, followed by Star News with 18 %, Zee News with 25 per cent, NDTV India and Sahara Samay received 12 per cent and six per cent respectively. When first launched in 2000, DD News was a satellite channel; and its closure almost 18 months after its birth, was assigned to poor visibility in cable homes, because of the reluctance of the cable operators to put the news channels on the prime band. It was said that because DD News was a satellite channel, it could not attain the penetration it deserved.
Programmes of Indian DD News
The bi-lingual DD News follows a half an hour block of programming in English and Hindi. Daily News in Urdu and Sanskrit are also shown. Besides round the clock telecast of news bulletins, several programmes covering business, sports, health, art & culture are broadcast regularly. Panel discussions are held on topics of current affairs. News Headlines, breaking news on the bottom scrollers, and News updates are also regularly featured. The DD News Channel is run by the Doordarshan News Center in New Delhi supported by a network of 23 Regional News Units (RNUs) spread across India. The channel reaches around 44.9% by country population and 21.6% by area.
Doordarshan News gives extensive coverage to all important news events that take place in India and abroad. DD News mounts several informative programmes on the General Budget, decoding and simplifying the economic terminology for the common people. The Budget speech of the Finance Minister is also telecast live. A dedicated Digital Satellite News Gathering System, including hi-tech gadgets like Satellite Phones and Video Phones are available for DD News, which has greatly increased its capacity in giving live inputs from the news spots. A facility of accessing News headlines through text messages (SMS) had also been introduced. DD News also provides information on Stock and Commodities indices, accessing information from NSE and BSE and also news on commodity exchanges like NCDEX, MCX, etc.
The main advantage for Doordarshan, as an outcome of launching DD News, is the beginning of in-house productions that maintain proper quality and standard, which was achieved by proper utilization of available infrastructure.
Lately, the channel had failed attain adequate viewership and its share of viewers has gone down from that of other Hindi news channels. According to data provided by TAM India, for April-June 2006, Aaj Tak continued to lead with 22 % share, DD News had a meager 6 %, much less than Star News with 16 %, Zee News with 12 %, NDTV India received 11 % only.