DStv and MTN Internet domain plans

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) recently revealed the latest application for new generic top level domain (gTLD) names, which included applications for .music, .google and .apple.

There were South African applications for the domain names .africa, .dstv, .durban, .capetown, .joburg and .mtn.

UniForum SA, trading as Registry.Africa, is the only registry operator bidding for the .africa TLD. The same organisation is bidding for .joburg, .capetown and .durban.

UniForum SA has previously said that it wanted to make these domains available in the market as soon as the first quarter of 2013.

Two other domain names which caught the eye were .dstv and .mtn.

Jennifer Roberti, MTN’s executive for group marketing, said that MTN has become the most valuable brand in Africa by rigorously protecting its brand and Intellectual Property (IP).

“To this end, becoming our own registrar and owning a top level domain is part of our overall long term IP strategy,” said Roberti.

“We also believe that the domain will drive a more cohesive and user-friendly experience for our customers and stakeholders when they experience MTN online. That said, we are in the process of outlining our full strategy for .mtn, including exploring opportunities to improve and innovate our offering to customers in the digital space,” said Roberti.

John Kotsaftis - DStv BoxOffice launch
John Kotsaftis launching DStv BoxOffice

MultiChoice said that they applied for the .dstv, .multichoice and .gotv to be able to have shorter URLs to make it easier for users to find their content (for example – Idols.mnet).

“We have also invested considerably in our brands, which we would want to protect by owning the TLD. The cost of the TLD versus the investment cost in the brand makes it worthwhile,” said John Kotsaftis, CEO of DStv Online.

“Although it has been written that TLDs will not provide an SEO boost, Google’s algorithm changes from time to time and subsequent to ICANN awarding the gTLD’s this may change, and in that case, we would want to secure a top place on the search engine rankings for brands that we have built,” said Kotsaftis.

At this stage MultiChoice plans to use these domain extensions for company websites only.

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DStv and MTN Internet domain plans