3net, the joint venture channel between Discovery, Sony and Imax, is to make its debut on Sunday, February 13, 2011. The channel has secured distribution on the DirecTV satellite network, giving it a technical reach of several million homes.
Going live at 20.00 ET the channel will premiere a series of native 3D programmes that include China Revealed and Forgotten Planet. 3net will also host the world 3D television premiere of Into the Deep 3D. It is planned to debut a new original 3D series every night in February. The channel hopes it will offer viewers the largest library of native 3D entertainment content in the world by the end of 2011.
“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.
In August Discovery Communications Europe received a Digital Television Programme Service (DTPS) licence from Ofcom, but there have been no announcements as to when and if a UK 3D channel might launch.
Last week Sky COO Mike Darcey told the Broadcasting Press Guild he would be delighted were Discovery to use its Ofcom licence. “They were one of the first with HD, so it wouldn’t surprise me if they were one of the first [with 3D]. They had some really great content for HD in the early days and I think you could make the same case for 3D. We certainly found with Sir David Attenborough’s Flying Monsters tat the natural history genre is very good for showing off what 3D can do”.