Doordarshan's Problems



Themes: Brand Management
Period : 1994-2001
Organization : Doordarshan
Pub Date : 2002
Countries : India
Industry : Media, Entertainment & Information

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Case Code : BSTR012
Case Length : 8 Pages
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Doordarshan's Problems| Case Study

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DD - Inside Story

DD was launched in 1959 as the National Television Network with a modest 21 community sets, in Delhi. The year 1982 saw the introduction of a regular satellite link between Delhi and different transmitters, which kick started the transmission of the National Programme. In the same year DD switched to colour transmission.

So widespread was its influence that it had penetrated into every nook and corner of the country cutting across demographic and geographic barriers. DD had a three-tier programme service - National, Regional and Local.

At the national level, programmes were focused on the national culture and included news, current affairs, science, cultural magazines, serials, music, dance, drama and feature films.

At the regional level the programmes were similar to the ones broadcast at National level, the only difference being they were broadcast in the regional language of the different states of India.

In 1984, DD added a second channel (DD 2) to provide an alternative option to the metropolitan population of Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai. DD 2 was targeted at urban viewers, particularly the young viewers.



Primary channel with National, Regional, Local and educational programs on a time sharing basis


Metro entertainment channel targeted at urban viewers, particularly the young viewers. Programmes relayed by terrestrial transmitters in 47 cities.

DD-4 to DD-13

Ten separate regional language channels - Malayalam, Tamil, Oriya, Bengali, Telugu, Kannada, Marathi, Gujarati, Kashmiri and Assamese.

DD-14 to DD-17

Networking of the regional services of the four Hindi speaking states. (Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh)


Punjabi Regional Service


International Channel


Sports Channel


24 hours news channel

• Later re-launched as DD world.

In 1995, DD launched DD-India, the international channel of DD catering to the NRI population. Service covered SAARC countries7, Gulf countries, West Asia, Central Asia, North Africa and Europe. In the same year DD entered into an agreement with the Cable News Network (CNN) and launched 24-hour news and current affairs channel-DD-News.

In 1999, DD launched separate channel for sports. In the early 1990's, about 479 mn people in Indian homes viewed DD and an additional 1.5mn watched DD on community sets. DD was ahead of the private channels in terms of viewership with a 90% reach. However, in the late 1990's it could not maintain the lead and private channels were catching up in terms of revenue even though they lagged behind in viewership and reach.

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7] South Asian Association for Regional Co-operation (SAARC) was formed to increase co-operation among the south Asian nations. The member countries are - India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan, and Maldives.