Indian govt-owned Doordarshan renames, set to challenge paid platforms with 100+ free channels

New Delhi, November 24, 2013:  Doordarshan’s direct-to-home (DTH) platform, DD Direct+ has been renamed to ‘FREEDISH’. The trademark has been registered and highlights its unique proposition of being free from any monthly payment for life. DDplans to increase its bouquet of free channels from the present 59 to around 120 -- in recent days, international French and German channels in their English editions as well as a Sony entertainment channel have been added.DD also expects a large number of viewers to switch to DD’s “FREEDISH” from cable and other DTH services as it offers a number of channels at no monthly charges for life.

The DTH service presently offers 21 DD channels and 38 other channels offering a wide variety of entertainment, musical, devotional, educational, news, international channels etc. The platform is also planning to expand its channel carrying capacity. The work contracts, according to the report sent by DD, has already been finalised and equipments are now being shipped for taking the total carrying capacity of the DTH platform to nearly 120 channels, which doubles the present capacity of 59 channels. DD expects that the increase in number of channels will lead to substantial increase in the viewership base. ( SOURCE:

List of FreeDish Channels here

Background: DD DIRECT+ is a free Direct-To-Home (DTH) service that provides satellite television and audio programming to households and businesses in the Indian subcontinent. Owned by parent company Doordarshan. DD DIRECT+ was launched by Dr. Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister of India on December 16, 2004. Satellite Earth Station for uplink of signals has been setup at Delhi. The high power Ku-band transponders of Indian Satellite INSAT-4B at 93.5º East are being used for hosting the DD DIRECT+ services.

For using DD DIRECT+ you don’t need to pay any monthly fees or annual fees to receive the subscription i.e., the service is completely free  but you should know that you need to pay one time subscription of Rs.3,000/- for Dish Antenna, Set-Top Box and installation to enjoy the benefits of  Free DTH service by Doordarshan.

Presently the DD DIRECT+ is using 5 Ku-band transponders for telecasting 59 TV channels and 22 Radio channels (containing both Doordarshan and private channels) in MPEG-2 format, which can be received throughout India on Free-to Air (FTA) basis by consumers.