The Indian public broadcaster will launch a new Doordarshan channel in a bid to enhance its reach in the region

Indian public broadcaster, Prasar Bharati, is set to expand its reach in the north-east of the country with a new 24×7 satellite television channel, ‘DD Arun Prabha’.

The Information and Broadcasting (I&B) ministry has recently approved and allocated a sum for its launch, which is set to happen on 25 December 2016.

“DD Arun Prabha will showcase programmes on the diverse culture of the north eastern states. The ministry has already sanctioned money for this channel,” said a spokesman for the broadcaster, A. Surya Prakash.

The channel will mainly focus on audiences in Arunachal, Pradesh and Sikkim but will also target other states of the region too. The team behind the new channel is already planning extensive programming content that will include the region’s diverse cuisine as well as music and singing programs, and shows based on the region’s monasteries.

“North-east is an area that needs our focus. There are so many states with such diverse cultures and languages. We had asked the government a few years ago that every state in that region needs a separate channel, given the diversity,” said Prakash.

DD Arun Prabha will join another channel based in the north-eastern region, DD North-East, which broadcasts information and entertainment programmes in Assamese, Bengali and English and other languages of the region.

“The existing channel has not been able to meet the cultural needs of the area because of its cultural diversity and multiple languages and dialects,” said Prakash.

In addition to cultural content, the new channel wants to reach and involve a younger audience.

“We aim to reach the hearts of the people through vibrant content and a lot of our focus is centred on the youth,” DG Doordarshan Supriya Sahu said.

The channel will also cover educational content, career counselling and government programmes.