-- Channel Also Strengthens Lineup of Native 3D Original Productions
and Partner Programs Ahead of Early 2011 Launch --
Las Vegas, NV – The joint venture of Sony Corporation, Discovery Communications and IMAX Corporation today unveiled the official brand and logo for the first 24/7 fully programmed, general entertainment 3D television network in the U.S. Known as 3net, the channel will feature the world's largest library of native 3D television content and is expected to launch in the U.S. early this year. The announcement was made during Sony Corporation's press event at the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show.
Additionally, Tom Cosgrove, 3net's President and CEO, announced a slate of key original series and partner program acquisitions designed to further bolster the network's unprecedented lineup of native 3D content. The programs will join the series, programs and theatricals previously announced by the network.
"3net is a critical component of the growth of 3D, as it will deliver a rich array of immersive, high-quality programming directly to consumers," said Sir Howard Stringer, Chairman, CEO and President, Sony Corporation. "In a year when 3D becomes more personal, Sony, Discovery Communications and IMAX are dedicated to bringing great 3D television experiences into consumers' homes. Our groundbreaking vision – creation of the preeminent 3D television destination – will soon become a reality."
"For 25 years, Discovery Communications has been dedicated to satisfying curiosity and making a difference with the highest quality and most compelling content for viewers," said Discovery Communications Founder and Chairman John Hendricks, who attended today's announcement. "Over the past decade, in partnership with technology leaders like Sony, we have made good on that promise by helping to pioneer HD in over 80 markets around the world. Today, with my friend Sir Howard Stringer at Sony and our partners at IMAX, 3net takes that commitment to the next level for consumers, affiliates and advertisers with the closest to real-life experience that TV has to offer – 3D."
"This past year has demonstrated the significant demand in the marketplace for quality 3D films, said IMAX CEO Richard L. Gelfond. "We believe this venture will provide a much needed driver to fuel the continued growth of 3D into the home – the first 24/7 television destination committed to the very best in 3D content."
"The vast resources and expertise of our joint venture partners - whose leadership spans across media, technology and entertainment - have allowed us to create a truly unprecedented 3D television experience grounded in the concept of highly immersive and engaging content," said Cosgrove. "We are continuing to work closely with our internal and external partners to position 3net as the preeminent player in the 3D television space as we move towards launch."
Originally announced at last year's CES, 3net has developed rapidly under Cosgrove and his senior executive team as they continue to develop a unique content strategy in concert with a compelling "3D big events 24/7" brand proposition to consumers. Strategic governance for the channel is provided by a joint venture leadership board comprised of senior executives from Sony Corporation (Rob Wiesenthal, Group Executive, Sony Corporation; EVP and CFO, Sony Corporation of America; and EVP and Chief Strategy Officer, Sony Entertainment, Inc. and Andy Kaplan, President, Networks, Sony Pictures Television); Discovery Communications (Peter Liguori, Chief Operating Officer and Bruce Campbell, Chief Development Officer and General Counsel); and IMAX Corporation (Rob Lister, Senior Executive Vice President and General Counsel).
The series and programs announced today (in alphabetical order):
This fast-paced, hour-long, thrill-ride takes viewers behind the wheel, into the sky, across the seas and more on this once-in-a-lifetime journey featuring some of the wildest experiences life has to offer. The world's biggest adventures are presented with all of the incredible dimension and reality of stunning native 3D. Produced by Arena Films.
Exclusive U.S. Premieres
Hubble 3D (IMAX)
Through the power of IMAX® 3D, Hubble 3D enables viewers to journey through distant galaxies to explore the grandeur and mysteries of our celestial surroundings, and accompany space-walking astronauts as they attempt the most difficult and important tasks in NASA's history. The program offers an inspiring and unique look into the Hubble Space Telescope's legacy and highlights its profound impact on the way we view the universe and ourselves.
Hubble 3D, narrated by Leonardo DiCaprio, is an IMAX and Warner Bros. Pictures production, in cooperation with National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).
In The Qube 3D (Sony)
This one-hour, hosted original series brings viewers into the exciting world of 3D with a topical look at the very latest on what's new and newsworthy in 3D – from movie and television entertainment, to gaming, the newest in technological innovations and more. If it's happening in 3D, it's "In The Qube." Produced by Sony Pictures Television in association with Chomp Productions and Jump! Creative.
Wildebeest Migration (Discovery)
Journey across the great planes of Africa with these exotic mammals and encounter one of wildlife's true wonders of the world – the annual migration of millions of wildebeest travelling more than a thousand miles with hundreds of thousands of zebra and Thompson's Gazelles behind the main players. The trek is not without peril, as these nomadic herbivores encounter numerous obstacles, including river crossings where giant hungry crocodiles await. Produced by Electric Sky Productions.
The programming announced today will join the diverse lineup of original 3D series, theatricals and U.S. premieres previously announced by the network, including:
"African Wild*," "Attack of the Giant Jellyfish," "Bullproof*," "China Revealed*," "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs," "Ghost Lab," "High Octane*," "Into the Deep 3D," "Jewels of the World*," "Magnificent Desolation: Walking on the Moon 3D," "Making the Brand*," "Monster House," "Open Season," "Space Station 3D" and "The Haunted."
*Denotes working title
3net, the joint venture of Sony Corporation, Discovery Communications and IMAX Corporation brings together three of the world's leading media, technology and entertainment companies to launch the first 24/7 fully programmed, general entertainment 3D television network in the U.S. The three partners bring an extraordinary collection of award-winning 3D content, technology and production expertise, television distribution and operational strength to the project, with a mission to bring viewers the highest quality and most immersive in-home 3D viewing experience possible. The channel will feature the most extensive library of 3D content in the world, featuring genres that are most appealing in 3D, including natural history, documentary, action/adventure, hard travel, history, hyper-reality, lifestyle and cuisine, concerts, movies, scripted series and more.
About Sony Corporation
Sony Corporation (NYSE: SNE) is a leading manufacturer of audio, video, game, communications, key device and information technology products for the consumer and professional markets. With its music, pictures, computer entertainment and on-line businesses, Sony is uniquely positioned to be the leading electronics and entertainment company in the world. Sony recorded consolidated annual sales of approximately $78 billion for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2010. Sony Global Web Site: http://www.sony.net/
About Discovery Communications
Discovery Communications (NASDAQ: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK) is the world's number one nonfiction media company reaching more than 1.5 billion cumulative subscribers in 180 countries. Discovery empowers people to explore their world and satisfy their curiosity through 100-plus worldwide networks, led by Discovery Channel, TLC, Animal Planet, Science Channel, Investigation Discovery, Planet Green and HD Theater, as well as leading consumer and educational products and services, and a diversified portfolio of digital media services including HowStuffWorks.com. For more information, please visit www.discoverycommunications.com.
About IMAX Corporation
IMAX Corporation (NASDAQ: IMAX; TSX: IMX) is one of the world's leading entertainment technology companies, specializing in immersive motion picture technologies. The worldwide IMAX network is among the most important and successful theatrical distribution platforms for major event Hollywood films around the globe, with IMAX® theatres delivering the world's best cinematic presentations using proprietary IMAX, IMAX 3D, and IMAX DMR® technology. IMAX DMR is the Company's groundbreaking digital re-mastering technology that allows it to digitally transform virtually any conventional motion picture into the unparalleled image and sound quality of The IMAX Experience. The IMAX brand is recognized throughout the world for extraordinary and immersive entertainment experiences for consumers.