Fox has apparently learned from its competitors’ folly. After bloggers discovered that TheCW.com had been registered just two months before CBS and Warner Bros. unveiled The CW network, Fox took preemptive action.
Less than a week before introducing its own My Network TV, the company snatched up all the MyNetworkTV domain names it could, including ".net," ".tv," even ".org."
Unfortunately, they were too late for MyNetworkTV.com.
That domain already belongs to Robert Ricco, a New York litigator who registered the address in September 2005 (for a TV-on-demand startup, no less) and was quite tickled to learn from Flash! that a certain media giant might be contacting him soon.
And wouldn’t you know it, someone already had—the day before the My Network TV announcement.
"Some guy tried to buy it for a pittance just yesterday," Ricco says. "He calls me up and says, ‘I have to know right away,’ and ‘Hey, a grand could really help you out.’ Then he sends me an e-mail saying, ‘My offer expires Friday at 5 p.m.’"
A Fox spokesman was unaware of anyone making an offer, but Fox Television Stations CEO Jack Abernethy, one of the driving forces behind the new network, has his suspicions.
"Who could that have been?" Abernethy asks, laughing. "We’ve registered a bunch of other, very close names."
After sharing the news with his co-worker—"Hey! Fox wants my Web site!"—a giddy Ricco notes that his registration doesn’t expire until September.
"I’ve got plenty of time to renew it," he says. "Fox might want to talk to me.
"I think it’s worth a couple kids’ college tuition," he adds. "Don’t you?"