BRS Media thinks ICANN has made the wrong decision about who should administer the “.radio” domain, but acknowledges that the outcome appears to be settled.
The company was one of several that sought the rights to administer that new top-level domain. When it became apparent that the European Broadcasting Union was likely to be chosen, BRS Media had complained about an EBU conflict of interest because the union sits on ICANN’s Governmental Advisory Committee.
“We still stand by our original comments — that the GAC/EBU connection is/was in fact a conflict of interest, which ICANN failed to properly address,” the company’s founder George Bundy told Radio World in an email this week.
“In addition, we still believe radio is not a ‘member-based’ community, to qualify within ICANN’s Community Priority Evaluation, just like other applications that failed.” He said for instance that .taxi, .tennis, .music, .gay and even .cpa did not pass the Community Priority Evaluation “because they — like we contend in .radio — are not member-based communities.”
Bundy continued: “While we wish the EBU well in the market, since 2014 ICANN has rolled out nearly 1,000 new top-level domains and many new operators have struggled to understand the domain business. Even ICANN itself has had to revise its New TLD revenue budget down, due to a lack of understanding of how these new domains would be received by the market.”
He said providers like The HIV project had to sell its .hiv domain extension after only a year “due in part to a lack of knowledge of, or experience in, the domain business,” and that other new TLDs like .club are losing money.
Bundy noted that in a letter to ICANN in 2015, EBU wrote that it had forecast earnings that later were cancelled.
“Frankly, given the new TLD market, the EBU will not see any significant revenue from the new TLD and will most likely need to subsidize the .radio TLD project for years to come, just like most operators have had to do,” Bundy concluded.