Discovery, IMAX, and Sony’s 3-D TV Channel to Compete With ESPN’s 3-D World Cup


Dust off your polarized glasses, 3-D broadcast TV is coming.

Discovery, IMAX, and Sony announced a joint-venture 3-D network on Tuesday. The network is set to launch in 2011 and will be the first 24-hour 3-D network. Distributed by Discovery, the channel will air entertainment, sports, and natural history programming.

“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,” Sony CEO Howard Stringer said in a press release.

The three companies will be equal partners–Discovery will handle network services while Sony and IMAX focus on licensing rights and new technologies. The U.S. launch carries the goal of driving consumer adoption of 3-D TV sets. International distribution of the channel is expected in the future.

ESPN also announced Tuesday that it’s all-3-D channel will debut on June 11 with the World Cup match up. ESPN has committed to the network for a minimum of one year, and during that time will broadcast at least 85 live events. The network will be dark when there are no live events. DirecTV is also expected to announce a 3-D HD channel at CES.

To take advantage of the technology, viewers will need a new set-top box in addition to a new television set, which may prove too pricey for mainstream customers. It is likely that viewers will also have to pay a premium. According to USA Today, ESPN said distribution details for its network will be resolved before the launch.

Image: via Gizmag