Lucknow Doordarshan is set to get a ‘satellite avatar’.
Coming August 1, the channel’s daily dose of infotainment including ‘Krishi Darshan’, cultural programmes, talk shows with local authorities and all-time hit dramas are likely to be available 24x7 for viewers across the country in a new channel -- DD UP (free to air).
The switchover to satellite mode would enable subscribers to view the channel on cable/ DTH connections.
Lucknow Doordarshan would be the third after Patna (DD Bihar) and Bhopal (DD MP) in the Hindi belt to get the satellite avatar.
According to sources, DD Lucknow Kendra would produce eight hours of TV content that would be repeated twice every day.
The production would have contributions from Doordarshan’s Varanasi, Mau, Bareilly and Gorakhpur centres as well.
The idea to switch to digital mode had been pending for a couple of years.
And now that the final nod has been granted, DD Lucknow is yet to give it a final shape.
Earlier, July 15 was fixed as the deadline for the switchover.
However, having missed the date, the senior officials are still clueless about the programmes that would be telecast.
Till now, Lucknow Doordarshan had been preparing four hours of programmes that were telecast from its centre.
Now since the duration would be extended to eight hours, the channel would have to include new programmes to fill the slots.
Moreover, due to a wider reach due attention on the quality of productions would also be required.
When contacted about the preparations, a week before the launch of the satellite channel, Avaneesh Sonkar, programme head Lucknow Doordarshan, refused to share any detail.
He said, “Things are yet to take final shape and we would only be able to share these when we make the formal launch.”
About missing the deadline, he said it was the decision of the higher authorities in Delhi that the date had to be postponed.
It may be noted that the director post is vacant at DD Lucknow.
Besides, there are only seven programme executives working against 12 sanctioned posts.
And two of them would retire on July 31, reducing the number to just five.
Similarly, various other positions, including programme assistants, cameramen etc, are also vacant.
“Things have been deteriorating at DD Lucknow over the years. Now since the channel would be viewed all over the country, the main challenge is to maintain standards,” said an artiste associated with the channel.