Television in India

On September 15, 1959, in Delhi, television made its debut in India, approximately 20 years after the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) transmitted the first television show in history in 1936. With the support of UNESCO, it all started.

The hour-long programs, which broadcast twice a week, included topics including community health, citizen rights and duties, and traffic and road safety. The programs were extended to include a television project for education in schools in 1961.

In 1972, a second television station was established in Bombay, marking the beginning of India's television industry's fast growth. After the Bombay stations in Calcutta, Madras, and Lucknow in 1975, and Srinagar and Amritsar in 1973.


Television broadcasting was intermittent and in black and white for the first 17 years. But by 1976, the system had expanded to include eight television stations that were scattered across 75,000 square kilometers to serve 45 million people. The government created Doordarshan, the national television station, as a new Department under the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting in response to the challenge of operating such a vast television system as part of All India Radio (AIR).

Doordarshan began broadcasting in color on August 15, 1982. During India's use of television for development, the Satellite Instructional Television Experiment represented a notable advancement. Most of the programs were produced by Doordarshan, which at the time was a division of AIR. As a result, the main source of TV programming in India is cable television. Around 1992, private channels were launched.

Current Situation

Currently, over 210 million Indian families own a television set, up from 197 million in 2018 by 6.9 percent. There were 892 million TV viewers in 2019, up from 836 million in 2018, a 6.7 percent increase. Male television ownership climbed by 6% while female ownership increased by 7%.

Rural India has more households with TVs than urban India, whose population grew by 4%, from 87.8 million in 2018 to 91 million. From 108.9 million in 2010 to 119.2 million in 2021, there will be a 9 percent rise in the number of people in rural areas who possess televisions. Hindi-speaking markets expanded by 8%, outperforming the rest of India and the southern states, which increased by 5%, even as television viewers in India increased by 6.9 %.