Thursday , March 30 2023

GoDaddy wins contract to run .TV, Verisign didn’t bid for renewal

GoDaddy Registry will now operate and market the .tv domain.

A picture of a flat panel TV with two sound bars on the sides and ".TV" superimposed on the TV screen.

GoDaddy Registry will take over operating the .tv country code domain.

GoDaddy Registry (NYSE: GDDY) has won the contract to operate Tuvalu’s .tv country code domain name.

Tuvalu is a small island nation of about 10,000 people. It struck internet gold because its ISO country code is TV, and it was therefore assigned the .tv country code domain.

It entered into a deal with Verisign in which Verisign (NASDAQ: VRSN) operated and marketed the domain. That deal came up for renewal and GoDaddy won the bidding.

Companies have adopted .tv domains as online video content has taken off. It is a nice registry business with high annual registration fees and some domains commanding premiums. There are roughly 500,000 domains in the namespace.

As lucrative as the contract was, it was not enough for Verisign, which runs the .com namespace, to have bothered fighting for the renewal. A Verisign spokesperson told Domain Name Wire, “We declined to participate in the tender process for business reasons.”

It’s possible that, given the name’s success, Tuvalu commanded more of the pie and made it not as interesting for Verisign. Even at current contract terms, it wouldn’t be a big deal to Verisign. (The company has not made an SEC filing, suggesting it might be immaterial to the company.)

The other reason Verisign might have chosen not to participate is that the deck seemed to be stacked in one registry’s favor to win the deal. But maybe not: Kieren McCarthy wrote that the tender seemed to be designed for Donuts to win the deal. Apparently, the deck wasn’t completely stacked.

The Ministry of Justice, Communication and Foreign Affairs, Tuvalu Government announced the deal on Facebook today:

I find it humorous that the government official is standing in water. Rising sea levels threaten Tuvalu. Eventually, it may be wiped out by the sea. If that happens, a new plan suggests that the .tv extension would cease to exist.

So maybe Verisign’s business decision was actually because the company believes climate change will rapidly intensify. (I’m joking.)

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About Andrew Allemann

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