A while back, we reported on the small island of Tuvalu in the South Pacific, which, as fate would have it, was assigned the international domain of ".tv." It didn't take long for a company called dotTV to make a deal with the Tuvalu government to administer and sell the ".tv" domains. Last week, dotTV announced that they have auctioned off three high-priced domain names—free.tv, china.tv, and net.tv—each selling for initial annual registration fees of $100,000.

dotTV says it has a hybrid pricing model in which most .tv addresses are available on a first come, first served basis for an initial annual registration fee of $50, while generic "dictionary" names, such as business.tv and news.tv, are available by auction. The company estimates that the value of future registration fees of .tv domain names will be $2 million, with the sales of free.tv, china.tv, and net.tv representing three of the top 10 domain-name sales in history.

According to dotTV, "as the Internet continues to evolve into a more visually engaging and dynamic medium, the .tv domain is rapidly emerging as the 'must-have' Web address. dotTV offers the only top-level domain that truly symbolizes convergence, rich media, streaming video, and other broadband content. According to GreatDomains.com, the leading appraiser and marketplace for domain names, dotTV has already achieved an overall value rating second only to .com—a clear indicator of how rapidly the .tv domain is growing in demand and recognition."

Free.tv's Ric Johnson feels he got a bargain when obtaining his domain name: "This was really a small sum of money to pay for a company name and address that will only become more valuable—it fit with our vision perfectly. The technology to combine television viewing with the Internet is here today, and dotTV is the at the forefront of this convergence. The ability to find a short, meaningful .tv domain name means that companies have a brand that is instantly recognizable around the world."

dotTV says that other companies that have adopted a .tv domain name include Sega of America, Columbia TriStar International Television, Billabong, Zee TV, TVB Online, Carsey-Werner Company, and more than 150 broadcasters, including the major US broadcasting networks.