Discovery's 3D Network to Be Called... 3DNET?

Drum roll, please: The name for the 3D network being put together by Discovery Communications, Sony and IMAX is possibly “3DNET,” according to trademark filings spotted by B&C’s Alex Weprin (see Discovery Weighs Name for New 3D Network).

The partners expect to launch the network in 2011, and other 3D programming is on tap from ESPN and DirecTV. At CES, 3DTV dominated the buzz on the floor (see TV’s Third Dimension, Discovery’s Zaslav Aims For Broad Distribution Of 3D Network, ESPN’s 3DTV Is An ‘Ongoing Science Project’, DirecTV Set To Launch Trio Of 3D Channels and Is 3DTV Just a Gimmick?).

While 3DNET is certainly descriptive, it’s spectacularly unimaginative. And aligning the network brand so tightly with the technology might also get stale after the novelty of 3D wears off.

Just look at Discovery’s HD Theater, debuted in 2002, and Mark Cuban’s HDNet. When HD was brand-new and people wanted something to show off their expensive flat-screen TVs, these stood out. They were the only HD services around. But what do HDNet or HD Theater mean today with 100+ other networks in high-def? You might as well call them The 16-by-9 Channel.

Arguably HDNet has built up brand equity and viewer loyalty with its mixed martial arts and original programming, and heck, I still like Sunrise Earth on HD Theater. Also, of course, there are loads of great brands that are simple and descriptive: iPhone, JetBlue.

To me, though, “3DNET” implies that it will be mainly a way for me to show off my brand-new 3DTV set to my buddies. And then switch to something I actually want to watch.

Here’s a black-and-white logo for 3DNET included in Discovery’s Jan. 7 filing: