GoDaddy is taking over the contract to run .tv from Verisign, after Verisign didn’t even bother to bid for renewal.
The deal brings to an end a relationship between Verisign and the tiny Pacific island nation of Tuvalu that has lasted 20 years and contributed millions to the country’s economy.
The country’s communications ministry said on its Facebook page that GoDaddy Registry was selected after a “competitive tender process”, but DI understands that Verisign did not participate.
While terms of the new GoDaddy deal have not been disclosed, it seems likely that Tuvalu was looking for a far bigger slice of the pie than the $5 million a year it was getting from Verisign, and for moneybags Verisign, with its .com cash-printing machine, it simply wasn’t worth the hassle.
Tuvalu has around 11,000 inhabitants and gross national income of around $60 million — its .tv money was a big deal for the country, even at the amount Verisign was paying.
With a likely bigger chunk of change coming from GoDaddy, it’s going to have more to invest in what it calls its “digital nation” strategy, which appears to involve investing heavily in blockchain-based technologies to compensate for the fact that it may well disappear beneath the waves over the next few decades.
.tv is a cornerstone of this strategy, the government says.
There’s thought to be at least half a million registered .tv domains, and the bog-standard non-premiums retail for about $50 a year, so it’s been a nice little earner for Verisign over the last two decades.
The company first took on .tv in 2001 when it acquired startup .tv Corp, which had inked the original deal with Tuvalu in 1998, for $45 million. The contract has been renewed a few times since then.
The ccTLD was the first example of a mainstream TLD offering tiered pricing, with premium strings carrying bigger price tags — controversial 20 years ago, almost standard practice today.
There have been reports over the years that the country thought it was getting short-changed by the deal, and the contract was put up for bidding earlier this year.
Despite reports that the tender seemed suspiciously tailored for a Donuts win, it seems GoDaddy has emerged the victor.
One can only assume it’s offered Tuvalu a bigger slice of the pie, which is what it had to do (under its previous incarnation as Neustar) to keep hold of the contract to run Colombia’s .co last year.
Neither Verisign nor GoDaddy has publicly released a statement about the switch. While it’s a lot of money, it’s not strictly material to either company’s already swollen top lines.
The post GoDaddy wins .tv contract after Verisign blows off 20-year deal first appeared on Domain Incite.