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Uniregistry sale leads to BBC telling millions that domainers exist

Kevin Murphy, June 28, 2017, 10:02:59 (UTC), Domain Sales

The BBC dedicated five minutes of prime-time air to telling the British public that domainers exist, after a Uniregistry domain name sale led to interest from producers.

The One Show appears on BBC One at 7pm five days a week. It’s the BBC’s flagship magazine program and appears to currently have about 3.5 million viewers per day.

It’s notorious for its hosts’ often jarring segues between sycophantic interviews with visiting celebrities and prerecorded human interest stories covering everything from people who collect doylies to people who are dying from AIDS.

In Friday’s episode — guest-hosted by Jerry Springer, no less — the first VT of the show is about domainers.

Regular host Alex Jones points out that while Springer and guest Rita Ora own their matching .com domains, fellow guest Tracey Ullman’s .com name is on the market for $795 (it’s registered to HugeDomains, but that isn’t mentioned).

Ullman laughs, and the UDRP-fodder is never mentioned again.

Cut to VT.

The roving reporter, whose name is not given, tells us that there are 335 million domains on the internet today, anyone can come up with one, and that “there are other people out there known as ‘domain dealers’ who buy these domains and sell them on for hundreds, thousands, or even millions of pounds”.

Brit domainer Graham Haynes is then introduced as “one of the first people to buy and sell domains”. He says he sold a portfolio of domains for £1.5 million ($1.91 million at today’s exchange rate) and spent $600,000 on furniture.co.uk.

Haynes says domains are always going up in value so he always tries to hold on as long as he can before he sells.

Then we get a few seconds over Skype with Aron Meystedt, who bought first-ever .com Symbolics.com eight years ago and says the name as been a “good cornerstone” of his portfolio. He uses the word “domainer” for the first time.

Then our reporter says she wants to find out whether she has what it takes to be a domainer.

We’re introduced to 25-year-old domainer Simon Whipps, who says he buys domains for £10 to £20 and sells them to end users for about £1,000.

The reporter hands him a list of domains she’s come up with and gives him half an hour to tell her whether they’re worth anything or not.

Then we’re off to the Cayman Islands, where a Londoner identified only as “Mo” lives. It’s presented as if he’s living the high life on a beach having made a killing from domains.

I believe he’s Mohammed Khan, a broker from Uniregistry. He says he helped broker personalloans.com ($1 million) and kiwi.com ($800,000).

Then it’s into the Uniregistry office, where a VP identified (mistakenly, it turns out) as “Alan Schwartz” mentions that he helped broker the $13 million sale of sex.com.

Back to Whipps, who tells the reporter than the only two domains on her list worth a damn are christmas.net and adventure.net. Given she owns neither, it’s not clear how she came up with these picks.

All in all, it’s a strange, thin, directionless fluff piece with nothing to say about domaining other than the fact that it exists. It could have been produced at basically any time in the last 15 years with barely any changes.

According to Uniregistry CEO Frank Schilling, the item came about as a result of interest from producers after Uniregistry made an aftermarket sale to somebody involved in the show.

It’s not clear who the buyer was or what the domain was, but apparently the kernel of the idea of the piece came about “organically” as a result of the deal.

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Comments (10)

  1. “strange, thin, directionless fluff piece” … that’s The One Show for you.

  2. equalizer says:

    I just wasted 2 minutes of my life.. wtf.

    Who is Schilling? wtf

  3. Aron - XF.com says:

    While I do appreciate ANY coverage of the domain industry by the mainstream media — I was a bit disappointed in how short the segment was.

    I think the initial plan was for a 30 minute or hour long special — the execs must have decided otherwise.

    They interviewed me (via Skype) for about an hour and asked some FANTASTIC questions about the industry.
    We covered everything you’d want to know if you were new to the business. I am sure they talked – in detail – with the others as well.

    To see it whittled down to a few seconds was unfortunate – but, hey — I’ll take it 😀

    Aron

    • Kevin Murphy says:

      Interesting insight, thanks. Maybe they’ll run more of the interviews at a later date in a different show; it’s not particularly time-sensitive stuff by the sounds of it.

    • Graham Haynes says:

      Hi Arron
      I did 2 hours with them and explained their value to end users and that furniture.co.uk was being developed not for resale. All lost worst was they edited a sentence I NEVER said they joined two different sentences on the But. And this is BBC the gold standard of broadcasting
      Graham Haynes

  4. Acro says:

    And the link to the BBC footage is…?

  5. Amr says:

    Please give us the link of the video so I can put it on the homepage of my premium domain.

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