Cast your mind back to 2000 and you may recall a story about the tiny Polynesian island of Tuvalu netting an impressive $50 million for leasing their Top Level Domain to Verisign for a period of 12 years. Verisign figured they could market the .TV domain to TV stations and video-based websites around the world. And they made a pretty good job of it.
Fast-forward a decade and today the Caribbean island of Sint Maarten is hoping for a similar financial windfall by selling their TLDs for $49.95 a pop. And they’ve got the rather raunchy .SX to play with.
As a TLD it’s something of a double-edged sword. No doubt sales will generate plenty of income, but it’s hard to imagine local businesses and the tourist board being overjoyed.
Dirty domains have been big news elsewhere with the ICM Registry already selling .XXX and keen to get their grubby little hands on .SEX .PORN and .ADULT.
From a financial standpoint it’s worth noting that country Top Level Domains (ccTLD) carry a standard annual renewal fee, while sponsored Top Level Domains (sTLD) carry a premium renewal fee.