Media Monday: From 1 hour to 7200 hours of Daily TV Entertainment


Well, it started with an hour of programming (mainly news) 50 years back and what we see today is path breaking growth which has taken India’s total TV viewer ship to 415 million – The highest in the World.


Indian Television has seen many ups but the originator of TV broadcasting (Doordarshan) is at its all time low! Thanks to the 350 odd private Channels operating in the market. Well, for me TV is as old as I am!

I have some fond memories associated with Television and I want to unfold that through this post. I’ll also try comparing the old with present and we’ll see how technology and privatization has taken over the originator of Indian Broadcasting.

My earliest memories of TV take me to those Cricket matches which started coming live during late 80s. They were telecasted live from Australia at 4:30 am and we used to get awake that early to catch those matches on-screen “LIVE”. Even, my father’s friends who didn’t have TV at their homes used to join us.


If I look at present day scenario- today we have whole channels dedicated to cricket and they re-telecast matches so many times that we can’t miss them even if we want to. Moreover, we have Youtube to capture all the exciting moments of cricket over internet and have this royalty to catch them anytime we want.

Then, there were those movies coming up every Sunday. And there was just one break! (Can you imagine that today). And those breaks were something like an “Intermission” during a movie at Cinema hall. We used to have tea and Samosas and we knew exactly when the movie will restart.

Today, we have 50 odd channels serving hundreds of movies everyday in more than 10 languages. We have countless breaks and countless re-run of movies. You can watch the same movie 5-6 times during a single week!

Note: The only common thing still remains is the power failure which used to happen for an hour before the movie got started. Ironically, it is the only thing which has also increased with the total number of Channels :).

Technically speaking, we had some marvellous shows made during those days. Ramayana and Mahabharata were so technically sound that we used to get amazed by their magical brilliance. But then there were frequent transmission failures.

Remember- “Rukawat ke lie khed hai”?

We can’t even imagine that kind of a scenario today. Competition among Channels is so hot that a transmission failure of mere 10 seconds can badly hurt the balance sheet of Broadcasters.

The major leap (and also the most successful till date) from Doordarshan was the launch of DD Metro. Initially meant for Indian metros this small subsidiary of Doordarshan went on to become the most successful story for Doordarshan. DD Metro brought in a revolution during late 90s.

We had shows like “Dekh Bhai Dekh”, “Surabhi”, “Sea-Hawk” and loads other to enjoy the primetime. No one ever imagined that we need anything more than that to get entertained.

But the human quest to achieve more never dies! Today we have laptops, internet, I-pods, Playstations, Multiplexes, Home theatres and what not.

And still we need more- more of TV Channels, more of cool gadgets, more of informative websites and more of FUN!

This post brought back some old memories and I had this nostalgic feeling too! Kindly share your feelings too. What do you think about the transformation and most importantly- do you need more?

[This Media Monday post has been submitted by Rabi Gupta, a start up enthusiast and soon to launch his first product iDubba (Intelligent Box).]

"Media Monday: From 1 hour to 7200 hours of Daily TV Entertainment", 5 out of 5 based on 1 ratings.
  1. Mannaran says

    Doordarshan will fail due to its lack of concern for regional language programs. At one time it was on all time high because of the dubbed serials like Mahabharath, Sri Krishna, Swabimaan etc. Once this dubbed version is banned, people diverted away from it. With DTH now, unless regional DDs send out more regional programs, rather than allocating prime time for DD National(mostly in Hindi, except some English news), it will see its death. Even now government has mandated that all cable distributors has to show DD too. That’s why it is still running, otherwise it would have died long back. Government should listen to the market requirement and run the DD, rather than using it as a propaganda tool for spreading Hindi. Otherwise good programs like Gyandarshan etc, may go off the radar.

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