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3net Cuts Content Deal with Comcast Xfinity TV

Channel Will Provide Three Hours of Stereo-3D Programming Each Week to Xfinity 3D

Stereo-3D cable channel 3net expanded its reach today, signing a deal to provide three hours of programming each week to Comcast's Xfinity 3D TV channel. Some 3net programming will be carried on Xfinitiy On Demand "in the near future," 3net said. 

3net, launched by Sony, Discovery and IMAX in February 2011, has struggled to find carriage, with DirecTV the only provider signed to date for the 24-hour channel.

In a prepared statement, 3net President and CEO Tom Cosgrove estimated that "nearly 25 million U.S. households" already have TV sets, and predicted the "special 3net programming sampler" being provided to Xfinity would help further grow the market.

However, stereo 3D televisions have struggled to gain traction among consumers. In September, the Associated Press reported that fewer than 115,000 U.S. households are viewing 3D TV at any time — numbers so small that the Nielsen Company can't effectively track ratings for 3D programming.

If you're an Xfinity 3D customer, here's a look at the initial line-up of 3net programming you'll be able to watch next week. Each programming block premieres on Monday at 7 p.m. ET, then is rerun four times during the week.

Monday, January 28:

Storm Surfers (3net Original Series) – This groundbreaking native 3D series [pictured, top] follows surfing legends, best friends and larger-than-life personalities Ross Clarke-Jones – a Australian Surfing Hall of Fame inductee – and two-time surfing World Champion Tom Carroll as they work with genius surf-forecaster Ben Matson to hunt down Mother Nature's biggest waves and surf the planet's most dangerous breaks.

NASCAR:  The IMAX Experience (IMAX) – In this special, viewers take the wheel for a hot lap with America's favorite spectator sport to experience the excitement of NASCAR racing and feel the roar as 750-horsepower stock cars are unleashed.

A Year in Africa (3net Original Special) – Witness what it takes to survive the elements and to outwit natural enemies. Travel with a herd of elephants in search of water, and go on a guided Big 5 Safari. Visit Africa's largest aquarium to learn about sharks and camp out on a beach to investigate growing up in a seal colony. This is life in the African Wild.

Monday, February 4:

Forgotten Planet (3net Original Series) – This unique 3D series crosses the globe to reveal some of the strangest places on earth – once vibrant cities now completely devoid of all humanity.  Enter the emptiness of the city of Chernobyl, walk the halls and streets of abandoned Hashima Island, the Old West ghost town of Bodie and the transplanted German village of Kolmanskop – abandoned in the Namibian desert.

River Monsters 3D (3net/Animal Planet Original Special) – In southern Africa there are rumors of a deadly fish that lurks unseen in the eerie waters of the Okavango.  A killer with shark-like teeth, there are stories of hunting in packs, feeding frenzies on schooling fish…and even human bodies.  Jeremy Wade is on a mission to see if he can track down and identify this terrifying river monster.

China Revealed (3net Original Series) – China's beauty is little seen, often hidden and always surprising. This hour-long series explores the thronging cities, epic vistas and spiritual heartlands of this huge and mysterious country in stunning 3D.

Monday, February 11 – “Construction Junction:”

Building the Brand (3net Original Series) – This series explores amazing factories, following the creation of some of the world's most iconic products. From handcrafted Gibson guitars, luxurious Rolls Royce cars, awesome Pierce fire trucks and the U.S. Army's Apache helicopters, viewers can follow the build process from blueprint design to the end of the assembly line.

Super Systems (3net Original Series) – This series pulls back the 3D curtain on some of the most complex systems on the planet, revealing the incredible people, machines and processes that keep the world around us ticking.

Hillbilly Blood:  A Hardscrabble Life (3net Original Series)  – This series follows the exploits of two experienced mountain men as they demonstrate the kind of backwoods ingenuity required to live off the land and survive the hardscrabble life deep in the mountains of Appalachia.

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