Public service broadcaster Prasar Bharti has launched a new channel specifically dedicated to old classics called DD Retro.
“To relive the nostalgia of your favourite memorable serials of Doordarshan, watch DD Retro,” the channel tweeted on Sunday.
For now, DD Retro is airing the same shows that DD National had brought back in the wake of the covid-19 outbreak to keep viewers engaged. Apart from mythological epics Ramayana and Mahabharat, the classics revived on the network are historical dramas Chanakya directed by Chandraprakash Dwivedi and Upanishad Ganga produced by Chinmaya Mission Trust, again directed by Dwivedi, superhero series Shaktimaan featuring Mukesh Khanna, comedy drama Shriman Shrimati, produced by Markand Adhikari, Shah Rukh Khan’s Circus, detective show Byomkesh Bakshi, drama show Hum Hain Na and sitcoms Tu Tota Main Maina and Dekh Bhai Dekh.
Last week, following the return of these classics, Doordarshan emerged as the most watched channel in India, with its viewership surpassing any other genre in the Hindi-speaking markets when the mythological epic, Ramayana is aired.
In the last two weeks when the Ramanand Sagar show, a favourite from the 1980s, was telecast on DD, the 9am and 9pm slot viewership grew 60 times. The other Hindu epic, the Mahabharat–12 pm and 7 pm–has helped viewership surge by 208 times.
In a circular last month, the ministry of information and broadcasting had directed all direct-to-home platforms and cable operators to show all DD channels as well as Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha channels as per the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act.