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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By Soham Bhadra

14 minutes read


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Regional Hindi and Urdu news channels

Some of the national news broadcasters have a large presence in Hindi-speaking states such as Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Jharkhand. These include News18, Zee Media, ITV Network (which owns India News and the English news channel NewsX) and the Sahara Samay channels. Others have only a few regional Hindi news channels, such as ABP Network (which operates ABP Ganga in Uttar Pradesh), News Nation (which operates three News State channels, most recently in Bihar/Jharkhand) and BAG Media (which has News 24 Madhya Pradesh/Chhattisgarh). Still others, like India Today, NDTV and TV9, do not operate any Hindi regional channels, although TV9 has several regional news channels in other states.

Apart from this, there are a number of independent channels such as IBC 24 and Bansal News in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, Patrika TV (owned by the Rajasthan Patrika newspaper) and First India in Rajasthan, and Kashish News in Bihar. Furthermore, there are also some Urdu news channels to serve the Union Territories of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh. These are all summarised in the table below, which is not intended to be exhaustive and so may miss out on smaller channels. For brevity, states are abbreviated to their two-letter vehicle registration codes.

State(s)News18Zee MediaITV NetworkSamayABPSmaller networksIndependent channels
Uttar Pradesh, UttarakhandNews18 UP/UKZee UP/UKIndia News UP/UKSamay UP/UKABP GangaNews State UP/UK(Several small channels)
Madhya Pradesh, ChhattisgarhNews18 MP/CGZee MP/CGIndia News MP/CGSamay MP/CGNews State MP/CG, News 24 MP/CGIBC 24, Bansal News
Bihar, JharkhandNews18 BR/JHZee BR/JHIndia News BR/JHSamay BR/JHNews State BR/JHKashish News
RajasthanNews18 RajasthanZee RajasthanIndia News RajasthanSamay RJPatrika TV,
First India
Haryana, Himachal PradeshNews18 Punjab/ HaryanaZee Punjab/HR/HP,
Zee Delhi NCR Haryana
India News Haryana, India News Punjab/HPMH One NewsSTV Haryana, Janta TV
Jammu & Kashmir (Urdu), LadakhNews18 Jammu/
Zee Salaam (Urdu/Hindi)Aalami SamayGulistan News

Confusion over Haryana

Note that different broadcasters treat the state of Haryana differently, often lumping it with another state, either Punjab or Himachal Pradesh or more recently Jammu/Kashmir as in the case of News18. This can lead to confusion, especially as the resulting names are overlong.

  • ITV Network gives Haryana its own channel, so India News Haryana is separate from India News Punjab/Himachal.
  • Zee originally had (and still has) Zee Punjab/Haryana/Himachal to cover three states, but in March 2022 it launched Zee Delhi NCR Haryana, with the result that it now has two channels with Haryana in the name.
  • News18 also followed Zee’s naming pattern until August 2022, when it renamed two of its channels, moving the name of Himachal Pradesh from the Punjab/Haryana channel to the Jammu/Kashmir/Ladakh channel (formerly News18 Urdu), with the following result:
    • News18 Punjab/Haryana/Himachal -> News18 Punjab/Haryana
  • Furthermore, MH One, a small but well-established broadcaster, is best known for its eponymous Punjabi music channel, but also operates MH One News to serve Haryana (as well as the Hindu devotional channel MH One Shraddha and the Bhojpuri music channel MH One Dil Se).

Besides, Doordarshan has separate channels for each of the states and union territories, so instead of lumping together (say) Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand, it has separate channels for each, in addition to Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Goa, Port Blair, etc. Moreover, it has DD Urdu to serve not only Jammu & Kashmir but also other Urdu-speaking communities such as those in Hyderabad and Lucknow, as well as DD Kashir (spelled without the letter M), which is a Kashmiri-language channel.

With all these news channels, the Hindi-language news media landscape is now saturated with constant coverage by hundreds of national and regional channels from big and small networks. This is a far cry from the 1990s when NDTV was restricted from covering national news by the government and eventually collaborated with the then-News Corporation to launch Star News — India’s first 24/7 TV news channel — in 1998, the predecessor to today’s ABP News. Especially in the current sensitive political climate, the choice of news channels that a person watches — in addition to other sources from across the Internet and social media — plays an important part in shaping his or her worldview.

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Soham Bhadra

Television Analyst

83 articles published
Soham is a Computer Science graduate from NTU, Singapore, actively interested in the Indian TV and entertainment industry. He publishes articles and shares his insights 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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