Indian net makes news

DD to feature 43 newscasts over the course of a day

Indian pubcaster Doordarshan announced Friday that it would launch this week a 24-hour terrestrial channel dedicated exclusively to news and current affairs, after an earlier satellite attempt ended in failure.

The Hindi-English DD News web will begin broadcasting today, said Doordarshan’s topper E.A.S. Sarma.

Channel will compete with more than a dozen existing national 24-hour news nets, but Doordarshan hopes the terrestrial web will have an edge as it will reach large areas of rural India that do not have access to cable or satellite television.

DD News will also be available as a free-to-air channel through India’s INSAT-2E and PaNamSat-10 satellite, which will make it available in 78 countries across the world.

DD News will feature 43 newscasts over the course of a day, including 23 in Hindi and 17 in English and one each in Sanskrit and Urdu.

Sarma said the public broadcaster had spent 200 million rupees ($4.3 million) on new manpower and equipment.

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