Discovery Communications, Sony and IMAX announced a joint venture to be established to develop the first 24/7 dedicated 3D television network in the U.S.

Discovery, Sony, through its U.S. affiliate, Sony Corporation of America, and IMAX each will be equal partners in the joint venture. According to the companies, 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 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 third-party 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.

Governance for the joint venture will be handled by a board of directors comprised of members from each of the three companies, with the day-to-day operations run by a separate staff and management team that will report to the board.

The parties informed they have signed a non-binding Letter of Intent. Specific financial terms of the venture were not disclosed.

“It is clear to us that consumers will always migrate to a better and richer entertainment experience, and together [with Discovery and IMAX] we are determined to be the leader in providing that around the world,” said Sir Howard Stringer, Chairman, CEO and President of Sony.

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