Tuesday, March 5, 2024

DD all set for a makeover with fresh programmes, regional and OTT focus

The Prasar Bharti office in New Delhi. File

The Prasar Bharti office in New Delhi. File
| Photo Credit: V.V. Krishnan

Public service broadcaster Prasar Bharati is all set for a revamp of its television channels starting this Independence Day. Breathing new life into the Doordarshan logo by reviving its original and lucent blend of colours, and introducing a wide range of fresh programmes in keeping with the current times, are on the cards.

Ahead of the Independence Day celebrations, Prasar Bharati will be launching the Sanskrit version of the popular patriotic song Hum Jiyenge Aur Marenge Aye Watan Tere Liye from Subhash Ghai-directed action thriller Karma. The bouquet of programmes for Independence Day will include films like Akshay Kumar starrer Kesari and Sunny Deol’s Gadar.

Also read | Prasar Bharati mulls own OTT platform

For the first time on any TV channel, Mr. Ghai’s daily show Jaanaki will be screened on DD National. The series will be focused on issues related to female empowerment. Inspired by the accomplishments of Indian-born American astronaut Kalpana Chawla, another serial named Jahan Chand Rehta Hai will also be broadcast.

Stating that a wide range of changes are being brought in to make DD channels more appealing to the viewers across the country, an official said emphasis was on incorporating new elements of infotainment in morning shows. “For the first time, DD National has teamed up with Bollywood celebrity Shilpa Shetty forYoga and Fitness beginning August 7 at 7 a.m. every day. Feature film slots are being reintroduced on Fridays and Saturdays and efforts are under way to screen new movies as far as possible,” said the official.

“Plans are also afoot for a collaboration with the National School of Drama and the Indian Film and Television Institute to provide opportunities to young and upcoming talent by showcasing their works. It will also enrich viewer experience. We have already started making some changes which have shown positive results. The viewership figures are improving,” the official said, adding that meetings were being held with the officials of regional channels, such as DD Podhigai (Tamil), to further better the quality of content.

On the sports front too, Prasar Bharati has introduced commentaries in regional languages. For the ongoing India vs West Indies cricket series, commentary is being provided in Kannada, Tamil, Telugu and Bengali in the respective channels. “Soon, talented commentators for Northeast States, Gujarat, and Maharashtra will also be roped in,” said another official.

In order to leverage social media platforms for expanding the reach of Doordarshan shows, the public broadcaster has strengthened its digital media team. Prasar Bharati, which was recently allocated an outlay of ₹2,539.61 crore for the upgrade and expansion of broadcasting infrastructure till 2025-2026, is also planning to launch its over-the-top (OTT) platform. It had earlier signed an agreement with Yupp TV, also an OTT platform, to ensure that DD India was accessible in Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, United States, United Kingdom, Europe and the Middle East.

In April this year, the Information & Broadcasting Ministry had entered into an agreement with Amazon India in the field of media, entertainment and public awareness. The Letter of Engagement allows a partnership between various organisations under the Ministry and the verticals of Amazon India. “In this regard, we are exploring all the possibilities to make available quality programmes,” the official said. Prasar Bharati has a rich repository of recordings having great nostalgic value. The archives are also being put to use.

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