.TV Value Grows With Changing Nature Of Media Consumption

New York Times mastheadThe Tuvaluan ccTLD .TV has had its ups and downs since it was rebranded as a TLD aimed at the television industry. But it appears to be growing according to a report in The New York Times.

“Today, as video is watched on smartphones and laptops rather than on living room couches, the .tv suffix — owned, improbably, by the tiny South Pacific island nation of Tuvalu — has become for some companies a chance to signal that they are showing video the way people are increasingly used to seeing it. Last month, 190 million Americans watched online video content, according to comScore.”

“A .tv web address has become ‘important from a branding point of view,’ said Tony Lorenz, the chief executive of BOB.tv, a company that streams videos related to best business practices.”

The background to .tv is explained. It was assigned as Tuvalu’s ccTLD in the 1990s. “At the height of the Internet gold rush, in 1999, a start-up named DotTV paid Tuvalu $50 million over 12 years for the right to sell .tv to other companies. The .tv suffix represented two of the most recognizable letters in the world, and DotTV’s founders believed .tv could be bigger than .com because TV viewing would soon migrate to the web.”

The report goes on to note “China.tv was sold for $100,000 a year to an Internet service provider in China, according to Lou Kerner, a venture capitalist who, in 2000, left his job at Goldman Sachs to become chief executive of DotTV.”

“DotTV was onto something, though the idea was a bit premature, as a lack of broadband limited the growth and quality of online video.

“In 2002, Verisign, a large manager of web addresses, acquired the company and still operates the .tv domain today. It agreed in 2011 to manage the .tv address through 2021, and the payments to Tuvalu’s government are said to be a couple million dollars a year.”

To read the New York Times report in full, go to:
www.nytimes.com/2014/08/27/business/media/a-newly-valuable-virtual-address.html