Dynadot

analysis The .TV Domain Extension: Sales, History, Pricing, Types, Use, and More

Catch.Club
During recent seasonal promotions several registrars offered .tv domain names at the lowest price in many years, perhaps forever. I suspect I was not alone in picking up some names for a trial investment in the extension.

That brings up questions such as:
  • Who are typical buyers of .tv domain names?
  • How much are they willing to pay?
  • How should names be priced?
  • What types of names are most likely to sell?
I set out to look at the data to try to find some answers.

History of the Extension

The .tv extension is the country code for Tuvalu, an island state in the Polynesian region of the Pacific. It is located roughly halfway between Australia and Hawaii. The total land area, spread between three main islands and six atolls, is only 26 square kilometres, and the population is slightly over 10,000.

The .tv domain extension was introduced in 1996. Starting in 1998, there was an agreement with a Canadian group for exclusive marketing rights to the domain extension in return for financial compensation to the country. US-based Idealab became involved in 1999, resulting in the formation of .TV Corporation International to manage the extension. Tuvalu used the first $1 million revenue earned from the extension to fund the country joining the United Nations.

Verisign acquired .TV Corporation International, and operated the .tv extension from 2001 until 2021. Sedo held an auction for 115 premium names in the extension in 2010.

Verisign did not apply to continue when a new contract was negotiated in 2021, and GoDaddy Registry now operate the .tv extension, recently completing the transition.

They kept the same pricing for now, although apparently with periodic promotions like the one we just saw.

@equity78 wrote a more detailed history of the extension, covering the period through 2011, in the NamePros discussion The history of the Dot TV extension.

The highest point on Tuvalu is less than 5 m above sea level, and the more frequent and intense storms, and sea-level rise accompanying climate change, pose a dire threat to the nation. While estimates vary, some predict that Tuvalu could be unliveable due to climate impacts within a century. Recently, the nation proposed to retain its culture and traditions by replicating Tuvalu within the metaverse.

Twitch

Probably the most well-known .tv extension site is Twitch.tv. Twitch mainly streams content from gaming and esports. Twitch Interactive is operated as a subsidiary of Amazon.

In SimilarWeb rankings, Twitch.tv is the 32nd most popular website in the world.

Another high-volume site is MLB.tv, which redirects to MLB.com for streaming of U.S. Major League Baseball.

TV Sales Over The Years

I used NameBio to look at the number, average value and total sales dollar volume annually. The results are shown below. Note that by no means all sales are included in the database, as for any extension, and which venues get reported have changed over the years, making annual trends difficult to interpret.

Image-Annual.png


For 2022, I prorated the number of sales to the complete year, assuming the rate would stay constant. For the data above, I included all sales $100 and up, so some are domainer acquisitions.

Breakdown by Price

Average price can be deceptive, especially for extensions with a moderate number of sales. A few big sales can skew the average. I therefore looked at the past 5 years only, and did a breakdown of number of sales in different price bins. Note that there are 722 sales under $500, but I scaled the graph to show the detail of the higher-value sales.

Image-PriceBreak.png


How Might A .TV Domain Name Be Used?

I asked myself who might be the potential end users. As a novice to the extension, the following ideas, in no particular order, came to mind:
  • specialty TV channels
  • documentary makers
  • influencers for YouTube, TikTok or similar channels
  • television stations
  • streaming services
  • ’how to’ video producers
  • educational television
  • bands or performance artists
  • tech products related to television
How Are .TV Names Being Used?

For the past 5 years for every sale of a .tv name listed in NameBio at a price of $1000 or more, I tried to visit the site in order to see how names are being used. This involved attempted visits to 298 sites. I did not use automated software in the check. The results, shown below, indicate many names are not in meaningful use.

Image-Use.png


While there are many valid reasons why a name may not be in use years after a sale, I was surprised how few sites were developed – just 29.4%, although an additional 2.7% had some sort of introductory splash coming soon page, and 4.3% were used in redirection to another operational site.

Over a third, 36.1% were for sale again, and an additional 3.0% seemed to be used for monetized parking only, without being obviously for sale. A number of these used zero-click parking techniques.

Just under one-quarter, 24.4%, were not operational at all. While I always see a number of names unused or for sale, the fraction actively used seemed lower than for most other extensions I have analyzed.

Type of Developed Sites

I did not do a numerical analysis for the type of developed site for the 88 that were developed, but I would offer the following observations:
  • A number were used for specialty channels.
  • Adult streaming services were fairly common.
  • Only a couple were influencer-type sites. One of those, a name that sold for $2500, goes to a YouTube channel with 5 followers.
  • The domain name DS.tv, won in auction at NamesCon 2018, redirects to Domain Sherpa episodes on YouTube.
  • There were sites in a number of languages in addition to English, including Chinese, Japanese, German, Spanish and Russian.
  • A few are travel sites, such as Aruba.tv.
  • It is interesting that ATM.tv redirects to the 7-Eleven chain of variety stores. Yes, they do have ATM machines.
  • The name divorce.tv redirects to a divorce lawyer.
  • CSO.tv takes you to the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
  • A very nice photographer site is at David.tv – he actually redirects to David5.tv which he also owns.
My biggest surprise were the relative lack of performers, influencers, etc. I suspect there are many such sites, but using hand-registered names that are some form of the name of the performer or influencer.

What Type of .TV Name Sells?

I characterized each of the 298 .tv sales of $1000 plus from the past 5 years, or at least those in NameBio, looking at what type of name each was. What I found is pictured to the left below.
Image-Type-Length.png

If a name was 3 or fewer characters, it was considered short, unless it was also a common 3-letter word. In that case I instead characterized it as a word. The brandable classification was used for creative spellings, merges and other types of brand names that were not direct word combinations. I had trouble characterizing a few, mainly due to language barriers, and placed them in other.

Nearly half of the sales are of single-word names.

The .tv extension seems popular in the Asian market, and more than 14% were numeric, and others alphanumeric.

Length

As the graph on the right above shows, most of the names are relatively short, 73.4% of sales were from names between 3 and 7 characters in length. The longest name in this set was 18 characters.

How Are Domainers Pricing .TV?

I wondered how other domain investors were pricing their .tv domain names. I used Dofo Advanced Search to find how many .tv domain names were listed for sale with buy-it-now prices in different ranges, obtaining the results shown below.
Image-BIN.png

There is, as expected, a broad spread in BIN prices, but the majority of names are priced between $500 and $5000. In case you were wondering, the highest price I found was $50 million.

NamePros TV Extension Discussions

There are a number of NamePros discussions related to the .tv extension:
You can find NamePros articles that used the tv tag at this link.

Probably the most comprehensive NamePros discussion on .tv names is Your Latest .TV Registration or Acquisition. It stretches 49 pages, and was started by @donnied79, one of the most successful .tv domain name investors.

NamePros has a collated page on the .TV extension.

Ten Highest .TV Sales of All Time

At least as reported in NameBio, the table below shows the 10 highest sales of all time in the .tv extension.
Image-Table-Top10.png

Despite these being superb names, it is disconcerting that most are not in use. This does not mean that the sales are questionable, but is perhaps an indication that these are uncertain times, with many digital companies struggling. In some cases, the names may be held for future development, or possibly for future revenue-generation or sale of the domain name. In some cases, plans have changed, or startups have failed.

Have Your Say

GoDaddy Registry have developed a site to promote the extension at TurnOn.tv. The Stories section features some significant users of the extension.

I would especially welcome comments below from those who have invested in .tv domain names over the years.
  • What type of .tv names do you think are best?
  • Are you optimistic for the future of the extension?
  • What types of users do you think will be most important?
  • What advice to you have for listing and pricing .tv domain names?


Thanks for NameBio and Dofo for information used in this article. I found articles written by @equity78 and Andrew @DomainNameWire helpful in researching this topic.
 
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The views expressed on this page by users and staff are their own, not those of NamePros.
Hello,

Any idea what renewal will gd as registry set?
Currently gd has one of most expensive ($49)

I believe more details will be coming out in January.
 
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Mister Funsky

Top Member
Impact
24,129
Thanks for the analysis and article Bob!
 
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buydomainnames

Established Member
Impact
533
Really appreciate for this awesome sharing. Most of .tv sales still going into parking services , listed again at different marketplace , or build as one page sites .

But I agree , all buyers has a total control to do whatever they want or plan to develop it 15 or 20 years laters , or to protect their brand .
 
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jhm

Top Member
Impact
11,586
Appreciate the info as always @Bob Hawkes. Hope you enjoy the weekend
 
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Andreas B.

Established Member
Impact
806
Not sure as .com bin is lower, also is prolly a TM of FIFA
Anyway, good luck, a big sale on this would be a good boost for extension
the .com is a developed website (I haven't seen any bin for this)
Fifa tried to reg. 'World Cup' as trademark, for their only use, but as far as I know others are using it too.
 
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the .com is a developed website (I haven't seen any bin for this)
Fifa tried to reg. 'World Cup' as trademark, for their only use, but as far as I know others are using it too.
 

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What type of .tv names do you think are best?
Anything to do with video and that's a lot nowadays given the proliferation of the short format video on tiktok / instagram reels / youtube shorts etc.

Are you optimistic for the future of the extension?
Given it's success over the years ( for eg https://es.tv/) and the increase in video, it should do a LOT better than it has.

What types of users do you think will be most important?
Those with money? :ROFL: Seriously though - anyone who wants to use video format.
 
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Crock

Software EngineerUpgraded Member
Impact
279
I purchased development.tv for $5500 in 2021. I still own it for the time being. A few months later I snagged the matching .com to pair it with (e.g. DevelopmentTV.com) for $990.
 
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Any idea what renewal will gd as registry set?
Currently gd has one of most expensive ($49)
Sorry I have no information on their plans. I am not even sure if the wholesale price is set by GoDaddy registry or is specified in the contract that they won. The wholesale price did not change when GoDaddy Registry took over from Verisign in management of the .tv extension – $25 as I understand it. Registrars need to add to that to cover their costs, and the registrar retail prices vary a lot in this extension.

For those who want to try out the extension, the recent deep discounted first year registration offered an opportunity. According to TLD-list, at time of writing, GD have least expensive (of sources they cover) first year right now, as the promotions ended the places with deeper discounts. But as you say one of the more expensive renewal. TLD-list shows 9 registrars with renewals less than $30 per year, including several registrars high on the NamePros 2022 registrar poll.

By the way, they say it won't last long, but those who have a membership plan at DomainCostClub (the one at that name .com, not the GD discount club) can still get a very inexpensive first year reg in the .tv extension at time of writing. They are not covered in TLD-list. I added a few more .tv names now that I can benefit from the analysis that I did for this article B-).

Thanks for all the comments and information, everyone.

Bob
 
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Alop

Top Member
Impact
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I never did any self-promotion in 14 years here but I will do just for this time.
Since after this thread I've had some interest in the sale I mentioned with some real Premium dot tv i reopened a new thread in the ccTLD market section with some real premium for real reseller prices.
*End of Promotional Post*
 
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The Durfer

Wesley SweatmanTop Member
Impact
16,628
ty Mr Bob and Happy Holidays! Whoohoo! :) 🎅
 
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eyedomainous

PDFTV.com Premium DomainsTop Member
Impact
1,184
Thanks, again, Bob, for sharing your spotlight with domains, and domainers, of a 'lessor god'.
And, welcome to the club of .TV domain owners.

The answers to questions about .TV sales, history, uses, etc., need to be answered in context with the reality that .TV, and TV domains in general, have dramatically under-performed in a marketplace that went from virtually zero (0%) of web traffic being video, to 82%, in the last 20 years.

In short, the main issue here is TV domains are disconnected in a value rewarding 'Connected TV' medium.

There was an attempt to unlock this distinctive TV (domain) advantage, years ago, with the Me.TV platform. But that failed to get .TV domainer support. Ironically, MeTV.com successfully uses the same model today, only replacing .TV owners with old TV show domainers, to rake in millions each year.

Eventually TV domainers may realize The Web has just been TV all along... connecting at global scale.
 
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TopBrandsForSale

Upgraded Member
Impact
426
Thank you so much for the info Mr Bob!

I own and hold tight a few .TVs

My best one is Report (dot) TV

Hoping for the best with my fingers crossed :)

BTW would be very interesting to have a similar analysis on the .ai tld.
 
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BTW would be very interesting to have a similar analysis on the .ai tld.
That is an excellent idea. Rest assured I have added it to my to-do list of future NamePros Blog topics. Thank you for the suggestion.
-Bob
 
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TopBrandsForSale

Upgraded Member
Impact
426
That is an excellent idea. Rest assured I have added it to my to-do list of future NamePros Blog topics. Thank you for the suggestion.
-Bob
Thanks Bob!

You are an incredible resource and mentor for everyone here.

Can't wait to read it :)
 
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