ABC Announces Freeform; Acquires

In an article published on October 6, ABC announced a name change for ABC Family. According to the article, “ABC Family changes its name to Freeform in January 2016! The network’s new name reflects our ongoing priority to super-serve Becomers, fans on that epic adventure of becoming an adult—from first kiss to first kid!

When I read about the rebranding, I visited to see if ABC was using the exact match .com domain name. Yes, currently forwards to, the ABC Family website. A current Whois lookup confirms that is registered to ABC, Inc.

Interestingly, Inc. was not listed as the registrant of as recently as October 6, 2015. A historical Whois search on DomainTools shows that the domain name was registered to a Texas company. Prior to this archived record, the domain name was privately registered for quite some time. I presume the privacy was turned off pending the domain name transfer. I would imagine the deal had been worked out prior to the announcement of the rebranding.

Obviously, owning the exact match domain name is important. Assuming the rebranded network Freeform is marketed as much as ABC Family, there would likely be considerable traffic “leakage” to the domain name. If they hadn’t acquired the domain name (or agreed to acquire the domain name) prior to the announcement, the former owner of could have been in a better position to negotiate a deal knowing that a large company likely needed to have the domain name.

I reached out to the former registrant of to see if the company could comment on the sale. If I hear anything, I will update the article. My guess is the sale price is confidential though.

Elliot Silver
Elliot Silver
About The Author: Elliot Silver is an Internet entrepreneur and publisher of Elliot is also the founder and President of Top Notch Domains, LLC, a company that has closed eight figures in deals. Please read the Terms of Use page for additional information about the publisher, website comment policy, disclosures, and conflicts of interest. Reach out to Elliot: Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn


  1. Wasn’t it ABC who applied and created the .ABC gtld?

    If GTLD’s are the wave of the future, why bother with when you can build on

    • Good point.

      I can’t speak for them obviously, but I assume:

      1) .ABC isn’t available yet
      2) Going to take a while before the majority of the public knows what .ABC or Freeform.ABC means
      3) The cost before launch would have been lower than after launch
      4) Can’t risk having someone use it for political, adult, or other controversial topics
      5) Cost is lower than the risk of letting someone else own.

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