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ESPN, Discovery Ready 3D Channels

Sports cable network set to launch outlet in June; Discovery working with Sony, Imax on 24/7 network to kick off next year

Those shelling out the big bucks for 3D TV sets this year will soon have several dedicated channels to play on them.

On Tuesday, in the run-up to the big Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, which is set to be a huge home 3D showcase this year, ESPN announced that it will launch a 3D channel on June 11, coinciding with its coverage of World Cup Soccer.

The sports cable giant, which has pioneered the adoption of high-definition over the last decade, has promised to broadcast 85 three-dimensional events on the channel during its first year.

Meanwhile, Discovery Communications, Sony and Imax on Tuesday jointly touted a new 3D outlet of their own. The 24/7 channel will broadcast a combination of nature, science/technology and kids shows culled from various Discovery channels, Sony’s library and third-party sources.

Imax also will negotiate 3D windows for big feature film releases running in its theaters.

Discovery will run the channel, with Sony providing advertising and sponsorship sales support. A board including officials from all three companies will call the big-picture shots.

More 3D channels and technology announcements are expected as CES kicks off on Thursday.