The world's biggest maker of plasma TVs, Panasonic plans to launch its 3D channels by June 2010 with U.S. satellite TV provider Direc TV Group and looks to sell about 1 million units in the first year of their launch, its U.S. chief said on Friday.

Panasonic, which plans to start shipping 3D TVs in March, will have to compete with a handful of rival products from Sony Corp to LG Electronics Inc and Samsung Electronics Co.

The more the better, Yoshi Yamada, CEO of the firm's North America unit told Reuters in an interview. We will be very aggressive. Speed is everything. We want people to think, 'Panasonic, 3D; 3D, Panasonic.'

DisplaySearch expects 9 million 3D TVs to be sold globally in 2012, still a sliver of the current worldwide TV market of about 200 million sets.

The Japanese company also plans to seek similar partnerships with cable networks or other distributors in the future, Yamada said.

Movie makers are eager to jump on the 3D bandwagon to seek a premium in ticket prices, while broadcasters are hurrying to gain the 3D edge against the competition, he said.

The company aims to boost group sales by more than a third over the next three years as it integrates Sanyo Electric Co Ltd after buying a majority stake in the world's No.1 rechargeable battery maker.