Discovery, Sony and IMAX teaming up to launch first 24 hour dedicated 3D TV network in U.S.

Three of the world’s leading media, technology and entertainment companies – Discovery Communications, Sony Corp. and IMAX, recently announced a joint venture to develop the first 24/7 dedicated 3D television network in the United States. The partnership brings together three leaders with an extraordinary collection of award-winning 3D content, technology expertise, television distribution and operational strength to deliver a high-quality three-dimensional viewing experience to home television audiences.

“Sony is the only company with expertise in every part of the 3D value chain,” said Sir Howard Stringer, Chairman, CEO and President of Sony. “We are delighted to be partnering with Discovery and IMAX, two premier companies also dedicated to leadership in 3D, in this groundbreaking new venture. It is clear to us that consumers will always migrate to a better and richer entertainment experience, and together we are determined to be the leader in providing that around the world.”

“By partnering with Sony and IMAX on 3D, Discovery will lead the way in revolutionizing the next-generation home viewing experience in the U.S. and around the world,” said Discovery Communications President and CEO David Zaslav. “Today’s announcement is the next step in fulfilling Discovery’s mission of providing groundbreaking content for our affiliate partners and enlightening viewers with the most immersive and realistic viewing experience available anywhere.”

“IMAX has been a pioneer and recognized leader in 3D technology for more than twenty-five years, delivering the premium in-theatre experience to audiences around the world. We’re reaching more and more consumers with the recent expansion of the IMAX® theatre network and the growth of 3D movie content,” said IMAX CEO Richard L. Gelfond. “This new business venture is the first step in our strategic effort to take 3D into the home and extend the IMAX brand. We’ve already had strong collaborations with Discovery Communications and Sony in the past on IMAX event film titles, and we are thrilled to work with such strong partners to be the first to make in-home 3D a reality.”

Discovery, Sony and IMAX each will be equal partners in the joint venture. It will be launched in the U.S., with a goal of driving consumer adoption of 3D televisions and giving the network long-term leadership in the 3D home marketplace. In the future, the companies also will explore international distribution opportunities in selected markets.

The new 3D network will feature high-quality premium content from genres that are most appealing in 3D, including natural history, space, exploration, adventure, engineering, science and technology, motion pictures and children’s programming from Discovery, Sony Pictures Entertainment, IMAX and other providers.

Discovery will provide network services, including affiliate sales and technical support functions, as well as 3D television rights to Discovery content and cross-promotion across its portfolio of 13 U.S. television networks. Sony will provide advertising/sponsorship sales support, and will seek to license television rights to current and future 3D feature films, music-related 3D content and game-related 3D content, while providing cross-promotion at retail stores. IMAX also will license television rights to future 3D films, promotion through its owned-and-operated movie theaters across the U.S., and a suite of proprietary and patented image enhancement and 3D technologies.

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