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.

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Estimated reading time: 14 minutes, 55 seconds

Hindi news channels

National news, business and parliament channels

Below are some of the largest Hindi national news channels in India, almost all of which are free-to-air channels and are available on DD Free Dish. Some, such as ABP News, India TV and Aaj Tak, have been around for two decades, while others, like Republic Bharat, Times Now Navbharat and TV9 Bharatvarsh, were launched only in the past couple of years. It is only recently that the TV9 Network, in particular, has stepped up to become a major competitor to well-established national news brands like ABP, NDTV and News18, after operating for over a decade in regional markets.

There are also a handful of business news channels, namely CNBC Awaaz, Zee Business and more recently ET Now Swadesh. Moreover, Doordarshan operates DD News, while the parliamentary channel Sansad TV (which is not technically owned by Doordarshan/Prasar Bharati) was created last year after the merger of Lok Sabha TV and Rajya Sabha TV.

Of these channels, India TV is the only one not to have any sister channels; it operates entirely on its own. Other smaller national news channels, like India News, News Nation and Samay, have a handful of Hindi regional news channels in states like Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Bihar.

  • Government-owned: DD News (HD), Sansad TV (HD) (parliament)
  • Major broadcasters:
    • ABP Network: ABP News
    • India Today Group: Aaj Tak (HD), Good News Today (formerly Aaj Tak Tez)
    • Zee Media Corporation: Zee News, Zee Hindustan, Zee Business (business)
    • Reliance (News18): News18 India, CNBC Awaaz (business)
    • NDTV: NDTV India
    • Times Group: Times Now Navbharat (HD), ET Now Swadesh (business)
    • Republic Media Network: Republic Bharat
    • TV9 Network: TV9 Bharatvarsh
  • Smaller broadcasters:
    • ITV Network: India News
    • Sahara: Samay
    • News Nation Network: News Nation
    • BAG Films & Media: News 24
    • Independent channel: India TV

As mentioned, all except India TV have at least one sister news channel, which may be an English news channel — as in the case of NDTV, Times, India Today, News18, Republic and ITV (whose English news channel is NewsX) — or a regional Hindi news channel, as discussed later. Incidentally, BAG Network, which operates News 24, also operates the music channel E24 which focuses on Bollywood industry gossip.

This aside, there are dozens of small Hindi news channels that get added and removed by DTH operators every now and then to provide them with carriage fees. They are hence a source of revenue for operators but do not provide much value to the audience. Some of their names include News 1 India, Bharat Samachar, Hindi Khabar, Network 10, Khabrain Abhi Tak, etc.

How many of these news channels are in HD?

As is evident from the above list, very few of these channels are available in HD on major TV platforms. Both DD News and Sansad HD have HD feeds, as well as DD India, Doordarshan’s English news channel, for a total of three government-owned HD news channels — which is impressive as most other Doordarshan channels are not available in HD, except DD National. However, among DTH platforms, only Tata Play has DD News HD, while the true HD feed of Sansad TV is present only on Sun Direct, and other DTH operators carry only an upscaled feed and pass it off as HD.

Surprisingly, the number of HD news channels from private broadcasters is not much higher. Aaj Tak launched an HD feed in December 2018, shortly after DD News did the same. When Times Now Navbharat was launched in August 2021, it was initially only in an HD feed; an SD feed was launched in December. This aside, none of the other Hindi news channels have a true HD feed on TV platforms, which is unexpected in this day and age.

However, most Hindi news channels, fortunately, have at least an HD 720p live stream on YouTube in the 16:9 aspect ratio, including both older channels such as News18 India and Zee News and new launches like TV9 Bharatvarsh. NDTV India is perhaps the only major Hindi news channel today which still has a low-quality live stream in the outdated 4:3 aspect ratio, which is also the case for its English counterpart NDTV 24×7 — despite NDTV being the first and most pioneering news broadcaster in the country.

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Avatar of Soham Bhadra
Soham Bhadra

Soham is a Computer Science graduate from NTU, Singapore, with an active interest in the Indian TV and entertainment industry. He publishes freelance 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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