But did you know .tv does not stand for television? Yes, it belongs to a small nation in the Pacific Ocean. The domain name .tv is the Internet country code top-level domain (ccTLD) for Tuvalu. Tuvalu happens to be a small archipelago in Pacific Ocean with a mere population of 12,000 and a GNP of US$70 million.
The .tv domain became highly popular when Twitch(.tv), a video live streaming platform was sold to Amazon for a whooping US$1 billion deal in 2014. The .tv domain name is popular, and thus economically valuable because it is an abbreviation of the word ‘television’.
In 1998 the Tuvalu government looked to capitalize on the .tv domain being similar to ‘television’ and for that Tuvalu Government with Idealab, a company in California, had established the .tv corporation in 1999. Idealab paid US$50 million for the next 10 years for using exclusive marketing rights to Tuvalu’s domain.
The first US$1 million gained by the Government from this deal helped them pay and join the United Nations in the 2000.
In December 2001, the .tv Corporation was sold to VeriSign in a nine-figure exchange. Taking after the procurement of the organization by VeriSign, the quarterly instalments made to the Government of Tuvalu were diminished to US$550,000 per quarter.
In 2011 VeriSign re-established the contract with the Government of Tuvalu to oversee the .tv domain till the end of 2021. VeriSign pays Tuvalu around US$5 million per year to manage .tv and pay royalties which happens to be around 1/12th of its yearly Gross National Income (GNI).
With that money, the country has been able to set up schools, hospitals and necessary facilities into the country whose economy is very small and is not enough for the welfare of the people. Surely the .tv domain is a blessing in disguise for this island country in the Pacific Ocean.