Discovery Communications, Sony Corporation and IMAX Corporation are preparing to launch a 24/7 dedicated 3D television network in the US in 2011.

The new network will feature premium content from genres such as natural history, space, exploration, adventure, engineering, science and technology from Discovery, Sony Pictures Entertainment and IMAX as well as third-party providers.

Discovery will provide network services, including affiliate sales and technical support functions, while Sony will provide advertising and sponsorship sales support and will license television rights to current and future 3D feature films, music-related 3D content and game-related 3D content

IMAX will also license television rights to future 3D films, promotion through its owned and operated movie theatres across the US, and a suite of proprietary and patented image enhancement and 3D technologies.

A board of directors comprised of members from each of the three companies will preside over the joint venture, with day-to-day operations run by a separate staff and management team that will report to the board. A search for the venture’s general manager will begin immediately. In future the partners will explore international distribution opportunities in selected markets. 

“Discovery’s business strategy has always focused on delivering groundbreaking content through new platforms, including the first suite of digital channels launched in 1996 and the first 24/7 basic cable HD channel in 2002,” Discovery founder and chairman John Hendricks said.

“Now, as Discovery celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2010 as the world leader in satisfying curiosity and bringing audiences the most realistic viewing experience, we continue to change the face of television with the launch of the first-ever 24/7 dedicated 3D television network.”

 “Sony is the only company with expertise in every part of the 3D value chain,” Sony Corporation chairman, CEO and president Sir Howard Stringer (pictured) said. “We are delighted to be partnering with Discovery and IMAX, two premier companies also dedicated to leadership in 3D, in this groundbreaking new venture.”

“IMAX has been a pioneer and recognised leader in 3D technology for more than 25 years, delivering the premium in-theatre experience to audiences around the world,” IMAX CEO Richard L Gelfond said.

“We’re reaching more and more consumers with the recent expansion of the IMAX theatre network and the growth of 3D movie content. 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.”