Today ICANN, the international organization that oversees Internet-related issues like domain names and IP addresses, has released the first list of applicants for “Top-Level Domains,” and TV networks are well-represented on that list. What is a Top-Level Domain? Well, instead of having a “.com” or “.org” at the end of a website address, a Top-Level Domain can be anything, provided ICANN approves it.
So, which TV networks and media companies applied for the domains? ABC (.ABC), CBS (.CBS), Fox (.Fox), HBO (.HBO) the BBC (.BBC) and Weather Channel (.Weather) are all there, so soon instead of going to “Weather.com,” you will be able to go “NewYork.weather” or ‘Forecast.weather” or whatever combination the company comes up with. Likewise, instead of “CBSNews.com” the company can create “News.CBS” or “Survivor.CBS) if it wanted, and so on. If a company is granted control of a domain it can also sell or offer it to other companies or entities. Amazon is seeking control of “.book”, and if it gets it other companies would have to go through Amazon to acquire a “.book” domain.
Similarly, a number of companies have applied for the “.News” domain. So far they seem to be comprised of holding companies or shells, and not major news outlets, though you never know who is paying who to act as a middleman.
Interestingly, there are also a number of TV outlets not represented.
CNN and NBC aren’t on the list, though they may get in the next round of applications if they think it will take off. Applying for the Top-Level Domains isn’t cheap. ICANN charges $185,000, and that doesn’t include hosting costs or lawyer costs.
Other media companies that acquired custom domains include Comcast, MLB Advanced Media, Eurovision, HGTV, the NFL, the NBA and The Guardian. You can see the full list of applicants here.