National programmes, mainly aimed at promoting national integration and inculcating a sense of unity and fraternity are broadcast on this channel, which is the Number One channel in the country in terms of absolute viewer-ship. DD National blends a healthy mix of entertainment, information and education. The service is available in terrestrial mode from 5.30 am till midnight. In the satellite mode, DD National is available round the clock. The telecast time of this composite public service channel is so devised that it caters to the needs of different viewers at different timings.
All major National events like Republic Day Parade, Independence Day Celebrations, National Award Presentation ceremonies, President and Prime Minister’s addresses to the Nation, President’s address to the joint session of Parliament, important Parliamentary debates, Railway and General Budget presentations, Question Hour in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, Election results and analysis, swearing-in ceremonies, President and Prime Minister’s visits abroad and visits of important foreign dignitaries to India are covered live on DD National. Important sports events like Olympics, Asian Games, Cricket Tests and One Day Internationals involving India and other important sporting encounters are also telecast live.
The education component is drawn from the contributions from varied sources such as Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU), University Grants Commission (UGC), Central Institute of Educational Technology (CIET) and State Institutes of Education Technology (SIET). In addition, there are sponsored programmes like Turning Point, Adult Education programmes, Terra Quiz and Bhoomi (programme on environment), programmes on issues related to women, tribal affairs and other public service programmes which are broadcast on regular basis.
The information component on DD National consists of news and current affairs programmes largely produced in-house. The 8.00 to 8.30 p.m. Samachar / News are the most watched news bulletins in the country, both in single channel homes and multiple channel cable & satellite homes. The Question Hour in Parliament is telecast live on the DD National and DD News Channel.
A specific window is earmarked for programmes in regional languages between 3.00 p.m. and 8.00 p.m. on all weekdays for public utility and entertainment programmes in the regional languages and dialects.
The entertainment programmes mainly consist of mid-day daily soaps telecast between 12 noon and 3.00 p.m. and serial Programmes from 8.30 pm to midnight. This includes telecast of feature films on Friday, Saturday and Sunday and award winning regional films on the last Sunday of the month.
The telecast rights of the films are acquired on payment of royalty to the rights-holder on the basis of a rate structure linked to the vintage value of the film. The films are selected on the basis of their box office performance, marketability and appeal to the viewers of Doordarshan. The films are being marketed in-house. This system has proved beneficial to Doordarshan as compared to the revenue earned through films shown on sponsorship basis as per earlier practice.
A new format film slot –‘Bioscope’ was introduced on DD National during 2004. In this slot a Hindi feature film is telecast in serialised form on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday at 11 pm. Many classics of yesteryears have shown on Bio-scope till now.
Keeping in view its commitment for promoting quality cinema, Swarna Kamal (Golden Lotus) and Rajat Kamal (Silver Lotus) National award winning regional feature films are telecast on the last Sunday of the month at 11.30 p.m.
Prasar Bharati has entered into a partnership with the Public Service Broadcasting Trust (PSBT) to source quality documentaries on various issues of concern to the public. These documentaries, produced by eminent as well as budding film makers are telecast on DD National every Sunday at 9.30 p.m.
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