Discovery winds down 3net, rebrands The Hub

Tom Cosgrove

Tom Cosgrove

The Hub will be rebranded as Discovery Family Channel, with Tom Cosgrove taking over as his 3net channel is wound down as a linear network.

Changes at US cable channel The Hub will see Discovery paying US$64.4 million to increase its shareholding from 50% to 60%, and the network changing its name to Discovery Family Channel, a filing confirmed yesterday.

Discovery will also provide three executives to the network’s board, while Hasbro will have two.

The network will still run Hasbro Studios kids shows during the daytime, with programming from Discovery’s portfolio of channels delivering primetime content.

The changes take place on October 14. Discovery and toyco Hasbro began the JV in 2010 in 50 million homes, but has increased reach to 70 million since then.

News of the upcoming changes first leaked earlier this week.

“Hasbro is a world-class company with franchises and characters that appeal to kids and families around the world,” said Discovery president and CEO, David Zaslav. “They have been terrific partners over the past several years as we developed our kids television audience in the US, and we look forward to a continued strong collaboration as we evolve to the Discovery Family Channel together.”

Channel boss Cosgrove will report to Discovery Group president Henry Schleiff. Cosgrove’s previous role at 3net, the Discovery, Sony and Imax joint venture 3D channel, had become redundant after the network was wound down. It ceased broadcasting in August after DirecTV dropped it.

A Discovery rep confirmed 3net’s closure as a channel today, noting it has “evolved from a linear channel into 3net Studios, which produces and supplies high quality 3D content for our distribution partners around the world”. This means staff will be retained at 3net Studios.

However, the news will come as another hit to the future of 3D television, which has largely failed to take off around the world.

ESPN, Canal+, the BBC and BSkyB have all dropped 3D services following weak consumer reaction to the medium.

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