Indian TV Channel services are available throughout the country - directly as terrestrial TV and also through Cable operators, as Satellite TV. There are more than 100 India TV Stations.
Doordarshan (DD), India's National Channel, was established in 1959 as a part of All India Radio until 1976. DD consists of one national network and several regional networks.
Presently, Doordarshan operates 19 channels - two All India channels, 11 Regional Languages Satellite Channels (RLSC), four State Networks (SN), an International channel and a Sports Channel. Regular satellite transmissions began in 1982 (the same year color transmission began).
Doordarshan, one of the largest broadcasting organizations in the world now in terms of the infrastructure of studios and transmitters, the variety of software and the vastness of the viewership, had a modest beginning.
The experimental Telecast started in Delhi in September 1959 with a small transmitter and a makeshift studio and the regular daily transmission started in 1965. The service was extended to a second city - Bombay only in 1972.
Till 1975, only seven cities were covered by Television. Television was separated from Radio in 1976 and Doordarshan came into existence. National programme was introduced in 1982 and from then onwards, there has been steady progress in Doordarshan.
On DD-1 National programmes, Regional programmes and Local Programmes are carried on time-sharing basis. Metro Entertainment channel carries Network programmes from Delhi and also Single-Metro Programmes from the four metro cities.
The Regional Languages Satellite channels have two components - The Regional service for the particular state relayed by all terrestrial transmitters in the state and additional programmes in the Regional Language in prime time and non-prime time available only through cable operators.
Sports Channel is exclusively devoted to the important sporting events of national and International importance.
Now more than 87 percent of population of the country can receive Doordarshan programmes through a network of nearly 1044 terrestrial transmitters. About 46 Doordarshan Studios are producing TV software.
Other networks that joined the fray are Cable News Network (CNN--starting in 1990); Asia Television Network (1991); Hong Kong-based STAR network (1991); Jain Televisiov, near Bombay (1994); EL TV (1994); Hindustan Television, an affiliate of the Hindustan Times in New Delhi (1994); and Sun Television, a Tamil-language service in Madras (1994). In a communications breakthrough in July 1995, Doordarshan agreed, for a US$1.5 million annual fee and 50 percent of advertising revenue when it exceeds US$1.5 million, to allow CNN to broadcast twenty-four hours a day via the country's satellite.