Track the companies that matter to you. It's FREE! Click one of these fan favorites to get started: Apple; Google; Ford.



The Latest 3-D Joint Venture

Watch stocks you care about

The single, easiest way to keep track of all the stocks that matter...

Your own personalized stock watchlist!

It's a 100% FREE Motley Fool service...

Click Here Now

Discovery Communications (Nasdaq: DISCA  ) didn't have to look far to find someone to head up its joint venture with Sony (NYSE: SNE  ) and IMAX (Nasdaq: IMAX  ) to create the first round-the-clock cable channel dedicated to 3-D programming.

Discovery executive Tom Cosgrove, who recently served as Discovery Channel's COO, will serve as the new network's president and CEO.

This is an unusual situation. The three companies jumped on the 3-D bandwagon before the first 3-D capable television sets hit the market. Their partnership was announced in January, but ultimately finalized last week. Cosgrove's appointment went public last night.

The network represents a surprisingly good fit between the three different companies. Discovery owns several cable networks, including Animal Planet, TLC, and its namesake Discovery Channel. Sony has choice seats in both content creation, through its film studio, and delivery, through its high-end Bravia high-def televisions. IMAX is the fast-growing provider of giant-sized cinema, but it was screening museum-worthy 3-D documentaries before they were even cool.

(… They are cool now, right?)

However, all three companies are ultimately at the mercy of manufacturers' success in rolling out attractively priced sets with 3-D functionality. Even then, they'll still need couch potatoes to pay up for the extra dimension, and not feel inconvenienced by strapping on the 3-D glasses.

The network shouldn't lack for content, at least. Studios have been beefing up their theatrical releases in 3-D since the record-breaking success of News Corp.'s (NYSE: NWS  ) Avatar. Exhibitors are drooling. AMC, Regal (NYSE: RGC  ) , and Carmike (Nasdaq: CKEC  ) jacked up the premiums that they were already charging for 3-D screenings three months ago.

In other words, the box-office mavens have educated the popcorn-munching masses. 3-D is cool, and worth more than 2-D. The real test will now be whether consumers mind paying a markup for the first generation of 3-D-capable televisions at their local consumer electronics superstore.

After all, it doesn't matter how great the Discovery-Sony-IMAX channel is if there aren't enough homes that can tune in to truly appreciate the 24/7 in-your-face content.

Cosgrove faces an exciting challenge -- yet one that lies mostly out of his control.

IMAX is a Motley Fool Rule Breakers selection.Try any of our Foolish newsletters today, free for 30 days.

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz doesn't like the way he'd look blown up in 3-D. He does not own shares in any of the companies in this story. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool has a disclosure policy, and it looks smoking hot on one of those eight-story IMAX screens.

Read/Post Comments (0) | Recommend This Article (1)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

Be the first one to comment on this article.

Compare Brokers

Fool Disclosure

Sponsored Links

Leaked: Apple's Next Smart Device
(Warning, it may shock you)
The secret is out... experts are predicting 458 million of these types of devices will be sold per year. 1 hyper-growth company stands to rake in maximum profit - and it's NOT Apple. Show me Apple's new smart gizmo!

DocumentId: 1203895, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 10/23/2016 8:00:40 AM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...

Today's Market

updated 1 day ago Sponsored by:
DOW 18,145.71 -16.64 -0.09%
S&P 500 2,141.16 -0.18 -0.01%
NASD 5,257.40 15.57 0.30%

Create My Watchlist

Go to My Watchlist

You don't seem to be following any stocks yet!

Better investing starts with a watchlist. Now you can create a personalized watchlist and get immediate access to the personalized information you need to make successful investing decisions.

Data delayed up to 5 minutes

Related Tickers

10/21/2016 4:00 PM
DISCA $26.64 Up +0.93 +3.62%
Discovery Communic… CAPS Rating: ****
IMAX $31.22 Down -0.51 -1.61%
IMAX CAPS Rating: ****
SNE $32.11 Down -0.61 -1.86%
Sony CAPS Rating: ***
CKEC $32.80 Down +0.00 +0.00%
Carmike Cinemas CAPS Rating: *
RGC $22.73 Down -0.02 -0.09%
Regal Entertainmen… CAPS Rating: **