3net, the joint venture television network from Sony Corporation, Discovery Communications and IMAX Corporation today announced that DIRECTV will be the first distributor to launch 3net, the 24/7 3D network, beginning February 13, 2011. 3net will initially be available to millions of DIRECTV customers across the country.
3net will go live at 8:00 PM ET on DIRECTV (channel 107) with a primetime slate featuring world premieres of new, one-hour, native 3D original programs CHINA REVEALED and FORGOTTEN PLANET, in addition to the world 3D television premiere of INTO THE DEEP 3D. Throughout February, the network will offer an unprecedented rollout of original 3D series and new program debuts every night at 9:00 PM ET.
3net will deliver compelling, native 3D content to the marketplace and thus serve as a critical driver for consumer adoption of in-home 3D entertainment. The partnership’s commitment to the emerging 3D market is historic, with plans for the channel to offer viewers the largest library of native 3D entertainment content in the world by the end of 2011.
“Today’s announcement marks the culmination of a dynamic collaboration, and we are very proud of what has been accomplished in the seven short months since the network began its development,” said Tom Cosgrove, 3net’s President and Chief Executive Officer. ”DIRECTV is the leader in meeting consumer demand for video entertainment and has clearly been an industry innovator in 3D. We are proud to partner with DIRECTV on this historic launch and bring compelling, original 3D programming and key content from our partners to DIRECTV subscribers across the country on a 24/7 basis.”
“Quality 3D programming is vital to the success and increased adoption of the technology, and with industry leaders like Discovery, Sony and IMAX making a commitment to this category, it is clear that 3D is here to stay and is only going to get better,” said Derek Chang, executive vice president, Content Strategy and Development, DIRECTV. “We are excited to be the first distributor to announce the launch of 3net and we look forward to continuing to provide our customers with the largest and most compelling 3D programming lineup available.”
“The broad availability of high-quality, native 3D content is a critical step towards consumers fully embracing 3D,” said Rob Wiesenthal, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Sony Corporation of America. “Beginning February 13, a deep and diverse array of great 3D programming will be available in the home 24 hours a day. 3net is an important element in our strategy to maintain a leadership position in all things 3D.”
“Discovery’s business strategy has always focused on delivering groundbreaking content through new platforms and technologies. The launch of 3net represents a giant leap in our march to bring audiences the closest-to-real viewing experiences,” said David Zaslav, President and CEO, Discovery Communications.
“3net brings together three global brands with a single mission — to deliver premium 3D entertainment experiences to audiences in the comfort of their own homes,” said Richard L. Gelfond, CEO of IMAX. “We are proud to embark on this new venture with Sony and Discovery, and we believe that our popular library of breathtaking IMAX content is in great company with the range of compelling programming from our partners.”
3net Premiere Night Schedule (all times Eastern):
CHINA REVEALED (8:00 PM)
China‘s beauty is little seen, often hidden and always surprising. This hour-long series explores the thronging cities, epic vistas and spiritual heartlands of this huge and mysterious nation in stunning 3D. Produced by Natural History New Zealand Ltd.
INTO THE DEEP 3D (9:00 PM)
This IMAX special takes audiences on a spectacular three-dimensional exploration of the undersea world. Using the IMAX 3D camera in its underwater housing for the first time, this film captures unique marine life and magnificent underwater vistas.
FORGOTTEN PLANET (10:00 PM)
Explore the strangest places on earth — once vibrant cities now completely devoid of all humanity. This series of one-hour programs imagines the world humans will one day leave behind by exploring what we’ve already abandoned. Produced by Flight 33 Productions.
DIRECTV delivers more 3D programming than any other distributor with its suite of dedicated 3D channels. DIRECTV HD customers received a free software upgrade that enables them to have access to the 3D channels on DIRECTV. DIRECTV HD customers will need a 3D television set and 3D glasses to view 3D programming on DIRECTV. For more information on DIRECTV’s 3D programming platform, please visit: www.DIRECTV.com/3D.