DreamDTH Explains: An overview of Hindi movie and news channels in India

In this instalment, we go through the various other genres of Hindi TV channels such as movies, news, music, devotional and sports channels.

Estimated reading time: 14 minutes, 55 seconds

Free-to-air movie channels

Goldmines (formerly Dhinchaak)

Just like with the free-to-air Hindi GECs, where Dangal far outshines all the others, there is now a single Hindi movie channel towering over all the other pay and free Hindi movie channels today: Goldmines. Originally launched in 2020 by Goldmines Telefilms as Dhinchaak, it rebranded to Goldmines in April 2022, while sister channel Dhinchaak 2 became Goldmines Bollywood and shows classic Hindi movies.

Its unmatched library of South Indian movies dubbed in Hindi has propelled it to the top five TV channels across all genres, as per the weekly BARC ratings. It even reached the top spot in Week 33 (13 to 19 August 2022) and became the most-watched channel in the country before coming down the next week. None of the other Hindi movie channels come even remotely close to it.

Goldmines’ rapid ascendancy has sounded the death knell for the existing Hindi movie channels, and Sony Max in particular, which heavily relied on Goldmines Telefilms for its vast South Indian movie library. Many of the most successful Telugu dubbed movies that were aired on Sony Max have moved over to Goldmines, such as Son of Sathyamurthy and Sarrainodu. Two of the biggest blockbusters starring Allu Arjun, one of the most prominent Tollywood stars — Pushpa: The Rise and Ala Vaikunthapurramuloo — have been premiered on Goldmines/Dhinchaak to a thunderous reception.

It only goes to show how much South Indian movies have conquered Hindi-speaking markets over the last several years, even when not taking into account the ongoing ‘pro-South’ boycott movement that spelt doom for movies like Laal Singh Chaddha at the box office recently. But Goldmines has immense power over its own South library that no one else can match, as crores of people in rural areas who use DD Free Dish can attest to. The sooner Zee Cinema and Sony Max realise that they can no longer compete with Goldmines in showing South dubbed movies, the better — as Star Gold and to a smaller extent Colors Cineplex did.

Movies like Pushpa: The Rise has been tremendously successful for Goldmines

Other FTA movie channels

But there have been plenty of other free-to-air Hindi movie channels for many years now, even before Goldmines/Dhinchaak. Some of them are more established than others and come from well-known broadcasters, such as B4U Movies, B4U Kadak and — since a few weeks ago — the classic movie channel B4U Plus from the B4U network.

Similarly, Enterr10 Network, a major FTA broadcaster, has had channels like Enterr10/Enterr10 Movies in the past. Though Enterr10 Movies was converted into Dangal 2 (a rerun GEC) in April 2022, another Enterr10 movie channel was then launched separately for DD Free Dish users, and d2h is the only other DTH platform to have it.

There are scores of other FTA Hindi movie channels, such as Cinema TV India and Wow Cinema One, Abzy-branded channels (Abzy Cool, Abzy Movies, Abzy Dhakad), Manoranjan TV (though Manoranjan Movies is a Punjabi channel) and the like. They are available on pay DTH platforms and cable operators in addition to DD Free Dish and are watched mostly by people in rural areas and Tier II/III cities, but none of them has the star power of Goldmines or even the long-established B4U and Enterr10 channels. The ascendancy of Goldmines has put their existence under a question mark, and they will need to reconsider their strategy to stay afloat.

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Avatar of Soham Bhadra
Soham Bhadra

Television Analyst

Soham is a Computer Science graduate from NTU, Singapore, with an active interest in the Indian TV and entertainment industry. He publishes articles and shares his insights primarily on the Indian TV industry and DTH operators. He has a passion for words and reflects that through his articles.

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Uhm, could've been done better in my opinion, it's a very superficial and at the same time haphazardly explained.

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Uhm, could've been done better in my opinion, it's a very superficial and at the same time haphazardly explained.

Thanks for the feedback. Let me know what you would like to have included. But I cannot get political.

The article is intended for those who are new to the industry and so isn’t going to be in as much detail as some of my other articles.

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