Three companies have asked ICANN to turn off a total of six dot-brand gTLDs. Two each.
Lifestyle Domain Holdings no longer wants to run .cityeats and .frontdoor, Paramount-owned CBS Domains wants out of .cbs and .showtime, and chocolate maker Ferrero wants rid of .kinder and .rocher.
It’s perhaps not surprising that Lifestyle Domains is done with .cityeats and .frontdoor, given that they were never used. What is surprising is that the brands themselves have been defunct for many, many years.
The registry was a part of Scripps Networks, an American cable TV company that owned HGTV and the Food Network. It’s now part of Warner Bros Discovery. CityEats.com and FrontDoor.com were part of its online empire.
But both sites were sold off to third parties in 2015 — the same year Lifestyle signed its two registry agreements with ICANN. In the case of .cityeats, the brand seems to have been sold off months before the contract was signed.
The registry appears to have been paying ICANN $50,000 a year for two TLDs is has absolutely no need for — it owned the dot-brands but not the matching brands. Very weird.
The Ferrero case is similar — the domains were not used and the company doesn’t want them any more.
I’ll give the chocolatier honesty points for the message on both nic. sites, which basically admits they were defensive registrations: “This domain is registered and protected by BARBERO & Associates Ltd”.
As both of these strings are non-English dictionary words, they could come up for grabs in the next round. “Kinder” is German for “children”, so it’s not impossible someone might want it as kid-focused generic.
The post Another six dot-brands self-terminate (two are very strange) first appeared on Domain Incite.