Las Vegas – Broadcaster
Discovery Communications (NASD: DISCA) announced on Tuesday that it has partnered with Sony (NYSE: SNE)
and IMAX (NASD: IMAX) on a joint venture that will develop a dedicated 3D television network
in the U.S.,
while Disney-owned (NYSE: DIS) ESPN said it will launch a 3D TV service in conjunction with the World
Cup soccer matches this summer.
Discovery, Sony and IMAX will hold equal stakes
in the 3D channel joint venture, whose goal will be to drive consumer adoption
of 3D televisions.
Discovery will provide affiliate sales and technical
support, as well as 3D rights to the content aired on its 13 U.S. networks,
while Sony will provide promotional and ad sales support, as well as license TV
rights to current and future 3D feature films, and music- and game-related 3D
IMAX will license TV rights to future 3D films, and licenses to its
own proprietary image enhancement and 3D technologies.
business strategy has always focused on delivering groundbreaking content
through new platforms, including the first suite of digital channels launched
in 1996 and the first 24/7 basic cable HD channel in 2002," said Discovery
Founder and Chairman John Hendricks.
The ESPN 3D channel is slated to launch on
June 11 during the World Cup, and is expected to broadcast at least 85 live
sporting events, including the Summer X Games, NBA games, and college basketball
and football games, USA Today reported.
"We’re going to assess the
viability of this as we did with all our businesses," Sean Bratches, an executive
vice president for sales and marketing at ESPN, told USA Today, adding that the
network is committed to the venture through at least June 2011.