At a time when private broadcasters are busy adding news channels to their bouquets, will there be a rebirth of DD News, in the face of growing competition? Though there are no immediate plans to revive DD News. But, indications are that ultimately a 24-hour news channel is the answer to the competition from private broadcasters.
Officials also rule out commissioning of programmes on the news channel, when it is revived. As for now, officials claim that DD is already taking on private channels, on the news front. They have a list of achievements to crow about, Jammu & Kashmir election coverage being one of the recent ones. How DD has beaten private channels in giving the poll results is part of its marketing campaign.
Currently, news on DD is available on the national channel. The news channel was scrapped a few months ago as the money spent on it was not yielding results, say officials. The amount which was spent per year on DD News was Rs 50 crore.
However, when so many players—Star, NDTV, Aaj Tak and Sahara—are gearing up to launch their news channels, will the DD offering on the national channel suffice?
Although there are no immediate proposals, but ultimately a 24-hour news channel will have to be launched. But, whenever that happens, 100 per cent of the news will be generated in-house. This is in contrast to commissioned news and current affairs slots on DD News.
Till the 24-hour news channel is revived by DD, the news bulletins on the national channel are being spruced up by fresh faces as anchors and reporters, BBC-trained journalists, logo redesign and a new signature tune. And since news is said to be DD’s face, the focus is on sprucing up DD National, with particular attention to the news bulletins.