Oprah Launches Oprah Winfrey Network, Settles for OWN.TV, Doesn’t Own Own.com

Oprah Winfrey NetworkWith the new year now here, Oprah Winfrey has officially launched her brand new Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN), a television network created by the popular talk show host.

Winfrey’s company owns and operates OWN.TV, which currently forwards to Oprah’s website, Oprah.com/own. A message across the top of the website lets visitors know that Oprah’s regular website will return on Monday, so perhaps the new network will use OWN.TV as it’s primary url.

Unfortunately for Oprah, the network was either unable to acquire or not interested in acquiring Own.com, a domain name that has been owned by National A-1 Advertising for quite some time.

National A-1 operates one of the best portfolios of top descriptive domain names like Babies.com, Antiques.com, Free.com, Cash.com, Divorce.com, and many other great descriptive domain names.

Unfortunately for Oprah, the chosen acronym “OWN” has significant meaning as a generic/descriptive word, meaning that the domain name had tremendous value well before the OWN brand existed. Own.com is certainly a 7 figure domain name, if National A-1 was even willing to part with one of its key assets.

In my opinion, Own.com is a domain name that the network should make a significant effort to purchase, since it will probably want to have a premier web presence.

*** Update ***

Interestingly, on my way back to New York City today, I saw a HUGE Oprah billboard. It was promoting Oprah.com/OWN. I imagine that I am wrong and they don’t intend to use OWN.TV in marketing.

Elliot Silver
Elliot Silver
About The Author: Elliot Silver is an Internet entrepreneur and publisher of DomainInvesting.com. Elliot is also the founder and President of Top Notch Domains, LLC, a company that has closed eight figures in deals. Please read the DomainInvesting.com 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. She is so powerful that all she needs to do is pick up the phone and called her buddy Obama .

    Then Obama will call the IRS,Justice Dept and the FTC and the rest is history.

    Hey, if they can do that is Russia,why not in USA.

  2. In the case of starting a TV network I find the Dot TV ending more than fitting.

    Turner Broadcast uses TNT.tv but not the dot com so I doubt Oprah is too concerned.

    Had she branded on Dot Biz, Info, Mobi etc, that would be a bit more of a head scratcher for me….

  3. I feel like own.tv is the perfect name for her network… and it seems to make more sense than own.com would – considering the usage… Let’s see if she actually uses it?

    • @ TS and CT

      I agree that OWN.TV is a good enough name, but I also believe that this will be more than just a TV network and more of a lifestyle. I believe it will in inevitably drive traffic to the .com, which would increase the value to the company that owns it in the long term.

  4. Agree. Own.tv is just fine for what Oprah needs.

    Her business is tv so .tv is an appropriate extension and her audience is television not the web so in this rare case, I don’t think the .tv owner needs the .com.

    There may be some traffic bleed to .com but .tv is not .net.

  5. IMO the bleed to the .COM is grossly overstated. For a video-oriented site a .TV domain makes sense. By reviewing analytics stats I have seen searches for keyword .TV for some of my sites. These are repeat visitors who use a search engine to return to the site.

  6. I predict that she will wind up paying more for .com version in the future. Remember ups.gov? yes .tv does represent her show but the channel demographics are lacking. I admire Oprah but remember she is being advised by media people steeped in advertising memtality.

    Gratefully, Jeff Schneider (Metal Tiger)

  7. Oprah could care less about getting Own.com In her mind, Own.tv is better and she is smarter than all those people who think it’s all about .com combined. Good for her and good for .tv!!!

  8. @ Jim

    I wouldn’t expect to hear anything less from someone who owns a significant amount of .TV domain names 🙂

    I think if the name wasn’t going to cost 7 figures (just a guess), they would have already bought it.

    I don’t think there are many companies that would choose a non .com first.

    For example, Google isn’t even using Google.TV for its Google TV platform, despite owning Google.TV.

    TNT likely would have preferred TNT.com, but it’s owned by a large company and has been for a looong time, so they are using their next best option.

  9. Your right Elliott. I am a big .tv fan:-) I just bought a L.tv which will close escrow in a couple of days for 10K and maybe I will turn down $125,000 like Mike Berkins can soon and make a nice ROI:-) I Still own around 80% .com though. Happy New Year and keep up the great work!!!

  10. The extension fits the media purpose.

    The “tv” abbreviation has been branded for way over half a century globally and is pefectly positioned in the consumers’ mind at this point in time.

    Marketingwise, especially with the convergence of the internet with television and other forms of technology(ipad, ereaders and tablets, iphone, etc.) the extension is better than dot com for its user friendly term of what to expect when .tv is at the right of the dot. That it is growing in popularity and usage is also not lost among those wishing to have their presence experienced on either the 60 inch HDTV or the friendly iPhone.

    .tv is really a handy extension for the media as such, better than its overpriced and overrated .com sibling.

  11. I think it is going to be marketed and promoted so heavily that the .tv should be fine. It is also very suitable for what the site will be about. Of course it would be far better to own both and I’m sure some traffic will end up at the .com but I think most will end where they should be.

  12. Oprah can brand and promote any domain she wants, there is no doubt about that so in this special case Oprah makes the domain and the other way.

    Bleeding traffic to .com will exist but domains in general are getting away from the old fashioned norm, domain hacks are used a lot and “http://www” is used less by everyday surfers.

    Oprah.TV, Drink.me, Visit.athens will be more and more recognized over oprah.com, oprahtv.com, drink.com, drinkme.com, visitathens.com.

    Last but not least .TV with some related content is more easily branded that .NET so bleeding traffic will be less than usual.

  13. I just want to add that Oprah’s frontpage message is not about forwarding her Oprah TV into a .tv domain.
    She is trying to let everyone know about her new project thats why current frontpage is the same as oprah.com/own.
    Message tells us that this is a temporary change and that from Monday frontpage will be replaced by the original one.

    She may use the .tv domain in the near or far future but I don’t think this message has anything to do about it.

  14. Let her run with the .tv for a while.

    Once, she establishes a IP foundation, her lawyers
    will just wait for NationalA-1 to make a mistake
    and take them to federal court.

    NationalA-1 can afford to defend themselves for
    a long time. But, she has 4 things going for her.

    1. time.
    2. deep pockets.
    3. best friend name Borack who could put a different
    type of pressure on NationalA-1. I wonder if that
    already happened a couple months ago?
    4. has a friend named Eric Schmidt who could cut-off
    NationalA-1’s revenue.
    4. power of millions of followers.

    It might pay for National to avoid the tendency to
    maximize on the sale price.

  15. Hello Elliot,

    Everybody has good points and I guess the .tv owners need to pump its efficacy. There is just one big problem of .tv that will make the media flip over to .com eventually. The traffic factor and the overwhelming amount of traffic that flows through the .com channel will win out eventually.This is guaranteed in our opinion.

    Gratefully, Jeff Schneider (Metal Tiger)

  16. @ Jeff Schneider…

    “This is guaranteed in our opinion”…

    seems an interesting opinion that does not allow for changes to occur through time. If this same rule had applied 60 or so years ago radio would still be king.

    Unfortunately, or fortunately whatever the case may be, tv(and .tv) is here to stay and the two letters that have been positioned in the mind of the consumer are even more embedded than ever.

    To assume that .com is still as important as it was in the 20th century is in itself taking a seemingly complacent approach to what is happening in the real world. Time and technology has a funny way of changing what were once “sure things” like .com…not that it is ever going away, just that they are competing in a new world as well as century.

    It is a great time to witness these events, though, and see what the convergence of the Internet, mobile and HDTV technologies have in store for us, regardless of extension.

    .com may very well be competing against a more cost effective and quite popular two letter extension barreling ahead. Pricewise, .tv is a good fit for this techno-evolutionary triad.

    At any rate, the .tv extension appears to fit a niche quite comfortably for video-centric channels and is quite marketable as it is already branded rather heavily.

  17. As always time will tell. Offers are coming almost daily for my .tv and 2 years ago that was not the case. Also, many receive between 50-100 type-ins and those are parked and that was not the case 2 years ago. Therefore, .tv is really picking us steam WORLDWIDE.

  18. From the moment I registered Cheeseburger.TV, Soc.TV, & FrontDoor.TV, I’ve had consistent, daily type-in traffic on all three. Odd, but I guess not really considering how quickly .tv is becoming mainstream. 2011 will be massive for .tv sales & development.

    – TBC

  19. My granddad used to sell farm machinery.
    Lots of different departments- sales guys, finance guys, engineers and mechanics, support staff, etc, etc… It’s a competitive business so to get ahead of the curve, they hired on a crack expert in agricultural commodities from the CME. The guy was tasked with assessing larger market forces in ag so they could make better decisions in anticipation of demand rising or falling for their machines and possibly, developing hedges using ag futures. It was totally groundbreaking stuff, for its day.

    They’d have meetings about this or that- the fiance guys would kvetch about tightening of credit facilities, the engineering guys would complain about a new design, the sales guys would whine that their per-diem was too low… The trader, though, always brought the discussion back to him. Nothing else mattered but his department, what sort of hedges he’d developed against an upcoming decline in the demand for threshers… The mechanics would be talking to the engineers about a drive belt that kept failing on a grain dryer, only to have the conversation brought back around to snowfall in South Dakota and how that would impact Sunflower futures. It got to the point where he wasn’t even brought into meetings anymore, got shoveled off into an interior office and issued weekly paper reports to the CEO, who made the decisions on whether to hedge or not to hedge.

    I think domainers are kinda like that guy. They think the entire marketing world revolves around domain names. Obviously, on a domain blog, the discussion will naturally be about domain names and yes they are a piece of the puzzle, but the sentiments expressed here- as far as the domain itself being such an enormous deal- are amusing.

    Oprah using and marketing own.tv on her new network is 1) perfectly sensible and 2) probably 0.0001% of what’s going on behind the curtains. I’d bet buying own.tv was a 3 minute decision that has since been forgotten. Whether she owns the .com or not is totally irrelevant and the only thing National A-1 will reap from this is some increased traffic, a few extra curiosity clicks and a bounce rate that goes up by a billion percent.

  20. This is no news to. me and I live thousand of miles away. I dont believe it was a 5 minute decision but I get Morgans logic and I feel the same.
    Own TV will use, for now, the oprah. com/own address but I m sure this isnt their final say on this matter.

  21. The branding power of own will will have to be controlled by oprah in the future. She could save a whole lot of money by waiting at least a year before moving on the .com property. It is her only option now that she has launched without the top choice.

    Gratefully, Jeff Schneider (Metal Tiger)


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