Discovery, Sony and IMAX Stake Claim on '3NET'

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The 24-hour 3D network set to launch in 2011 from Discovery Communications, Sony and IMAX looks like it finally has a name: 3NET.

The three companies filed for trademark protection on “3NET” on Dec. 22 with the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office.

I’ve been told that Discovery, Sony and IMAX will officially announce the name and initial affiliates for the network at next week’s CES in Las Vegas.

Boring? Yeah — but as a descriptive name it’s going to be easier for 3NET to signify what it’s all about. Plus, with three cooks in the kitchen, they had to agree on the name by committee.

Of course, it’s not clear many people will be interested in — or capable of — tuning in to a 3D cable channel, no matter what it’s called.

Nielsen says 2% of North American consumers currently have a 3DTV, with just 3% saying they “definitely” will buy one in the next 12 months. According to a survey by Leichtman Research Group, less than 1% of U.S. households currently have an HDTV set that is 3D-capable and that while nearly 80% of adults in the U.S. have heard of 3DTV, of those just 8% are “very interested” in getting a 3D television set.

Note that 3NET is just one letter off the placeholder — 3DNET — that the three partners picked a year ago for the venture (see Discovery’s 3D Network to Be Called… 3DNET?). The JV has been operating as 3D Net Co LLC since then.

Meanwhile, the domain names 3net.com and 3net.net are registered to an associate with DC law firm Arent Fox who specializes in trademarks and intellectual property. The firm has done work for Discovery in the past.

Here’s coverage from Multichannel News of the Discovery/Sony/IMAX 3D JV, announced at CES 2010:

* Discovery To Launch 3-D Channel With Sony, IMAX - Jan. 5

* Discovery’s Zaslav Aims For Broad Distribution Of 3D Network - Jan. 5

* Cosgrove To Head Discovery 3D Network - June 8

* Discovery 3D Net IDs First Shows - Oct. 18

* Sony/Discovery/IMAX 3D Joint Venture Expands Programming Slate - Dec. 13

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