Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Thursday, May 15, 2021

While CBS will be getting a robust and sprawling Web media operation in its $1.8 billion acquisition of CNET Networks, in my mind there are two chief reasons for the deal:

- News.com

- TV.com

It just about begins and ends there. Both those sites — or, more properly, their browser addresses — make synergistic sense under CBS’ umbrella. Everything else — the long-established audiences, the physical Silicon Valley hub — is incidental, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see chunks of CNET eventually get jettisoned by the new corporate parent.

CNET has occupied that valuable news.com URL real estate for more than a decade. I always thought it was peculiar that such a fundamental brand/concept should take you to a narrow slice of news, instead of a more-general news portal; but that’s CNET’s reward for cornering that domain so early. Having news.com resolve to CBS News would confer an almost default status to the network for online news consumption, simply by virtue of the easily-input Web address.

Meanwhile, the TV.com domain came under CNET’s control more recently. Just nurturing its existing community-building formula will pay off for the short term; further out, it could be used to cement CBS’ position in televised media even further.

Yes, I’m characterizing this deal as essentially another dollars-for-domains transaction. Unlike other instances, though, this one actually makes sense. There’s no other way to establish the kind of mindshare that two dead-simple dot-com addresses bring. Having these two roads lead to CBS online properties will count big, with overall brand-building and online revenue generation via ads and other channels.

by Costa Tsiokos, Thu 05/15/2008 01:35:28 PM
Category: Business, Internet, TV
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  1. I hope that they don’t mess with TV.com, which is an extremely useful site. I probably use it more than IMDB. Of course, if they want to improve on it I’m not going to argue, but I hope that they don’t just turn it primarily into an advertising center for CBS programming.

    Comment by trumwill — 05/19/2008 @ 01:03:31 PM


    Earlier this year, I posited that the chief reason why CBS bought Web media company CNET Networks was just to acquire the coveted news.com domain.
    Since I still believe that, I was happy to come across this somewhat apocryphal recounting of just how CN…

    Trackback by Population Statistic — 08/11/2021 @ 09:05:15 PM

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