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Doordarshan to sport new logo, tap younger audiences

MUMBAI: Doordarshan, which has been around for almost 58 years and provided its viewers with memorable shows like ‘Buniyad’, ‘Circus’, ‘Byomkesh Bakshi’ and ‘Karamchand’, has been a laggard when it comes to attracting younger viewership, especially after the television market opened for private satellite television channels.

Now Doordarshan is making serious efforts to woo younger audiences who are the children of liberalisation and have not grown up with the public broadcaster. After making several structural changes including auctioning prime time slots to private production houses, Doordarshan has decided to change its iconic logo which has remained unaltered since its inception in 1959.

Not just limiting itself to programming revamp and inclusion of new channels, Doordarshan has taken a decision to sport a new logo for the first time since its launch.

Over the years, the Doordarshan logo, which symbolises the human eye, has become something of a cultural icon, a source of nostalgia for millions of Indians. But now, moving away from nostalgia, the national broadcaster has called for entries from the public seeking a new logo design to improve the look. The channel is planning to create something youthful in a bid to tap the ‘children of liberalisation’ with its new logo.

Prasar Bharti CEO Shashi Shekhar Vempati said, “Much of the population today is under 30 years of age. These are the children of liberalisation who have not grown up with Doordarshan. They don’t share the same nostalgia factor which the earlier generation did. We have to connect with the youth of India and make Brand Doordarshan relevant to them. The logo has to reflect that.”

The guidelines for new logo suggest that while recalling the strong nostalgia associated with the DD brand, it should also reflect the aspirations of new India.

The last day for submission of entries is 13 August 2017 and the winner will receive a price money of Rs 1 lakh.

The current DD logo, which was adopted in 1959, was part of a classroom assignment. It was designed by Devashis Bhattacharya, a student of the National Institute of Design.

Apart from the logo redesign, Doordarshan has also decided to create a time band to air iconic shows. Bringing in the nostalgia factor, the channel is hosting a re-run of Shah Rukh Khan’s old TV serial ‘Circus.’

Following Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of a young India, the broadcaster is now focusing on engaging India’s youth and trying to get a mindshare for the DD brand within the current generation. The channel is undergoing several changes from revamping of its programming to content repackaging.

To lure more audiences and advertisers with better content, DD National has auctioned prime-time slots to private producers. Balaji Telefilms and Saaibaba Telefilms have successfully bid for the slots and new programming.

The pubcaster is also planning to launch new channels in children, youth and music genres.

Doordarshan’s subscription-free DTH platform Freedish has helped the channel to lift its revenue by 9.5%. The net revenue of the channel grew to Rs 827.51 crore in FY17, up from Rs 755.79 crore a year ago. In fact, with the help of Freedish, DD has managed to reverse the past few years’ trend of a fall in revenues.