Watch Live TV from India

Television in India is a huge industry which has thousands of programs in many languages. The small screen has produced numerous celebrities. More than half of all Indian households own a television. As of 2016, the country has a collection of over 857 channels of which 184 are pay channels.

Terrestrial television in India started with the experimental telecast starting in Delhi on 15 September 1959 (official launch date) with a small transmitter and a makeshift studio. The regular daily transmission started in 1965 as a part of All India Radio. The television service was extended to Bombay and Amritsar in 1972. Up until 1975, only seven Indian cities had a television service. SITE was an important step taken by India to use television for development. The programmes were mainly produced by Doordarshan which was then a part of AIR. The telecasts happened twice a day, in the morning and evening. Other than agricultural information, health and family planning were the other important topics dealt with in these programmes. Entertainment was also included in these telecasts in the form of dance, music, drama, folk and rural art forms. Television services were separated from radio in 1976. National telecasts were introduced in 1982.

In the same year, color TV was introduced in the Indian market. Indian small screen programming started off in the early 1980s. At that time there was only one national channel Doordarshan, which was government owned. The Ramayana and Mahabharata (both Indian spiritual and mythological stories) were the first major television series produced. This serial notched up the world record in viewership numbers for a single program. By the late 1980s more and more people started to own television sets. Though there was a single channel, television programming had reached saturation. Hence the government opened up another channel which had part national programming and part regional. This channel was known as DD 2 later DD Metro. Both channels were broadcast terrestrially. In 1997, Prasar Bharati, a statutory autonomous body was established. Doordarshan along with AIR was converted into government corporations under Prasar Bharati. The Prasar Bharati Corporation was established to serve as the public service broadcaster of the country which would achieve its objectives through AIR and DD. This was a step towards greater autonomy for Doordarshan and AIR. However, Prasar Bharati has not succeeded in shielding Doordarshan from government control.

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