Some know the name others new to the industry may not. Known to the domaining world as Mrs Jello, Igal Lichtman has been a successful entrepreneur for over 25 years.
Lichtman started out in 1986 as the founder, chairman and CEO of Magic Solutions International, a software company in the field of help desk & asset management. With 300 employees and annual trailing sales over $50M. In 1996 and 1997, Magic Solutions was among INC 500’s fastest growing companies in the US, and in April 1998 was acquired by Network Associates Inc. (NETA) (formerly and currently McAfee Associates) for $110M.
Igal has been an angel investor in other tech companies that were acquired such as Quigo.com. That company was acquired in Nov 2007 by Aol for around $340 million.
Igal has a great domain portfolio that not very many know about, he has names such as Jerusalem.com and Satellite.com as prime examples of top quality domains.
Igal is also one of the top .tv investors in the world. Registrations include names such as Sport.tv,Television.tv and hundreds others.
He was very gracious with his time and gave us an interview on his take on .tv.
Q1) When did you start registering .tv ?
Igal: As soon as the registry opened up.
Q2) How many .tv do you own today ?
Q3) There is an old myth that has gone around for a long time, it stated the domain Golf.tv was acquired for $600,000. There was controversy around the name that a gentleman from South Korea won the name but the original DOT TV Corp never awarded him the name. Did you pay $600,000 for Golf.tv ?
Igal: No I did not pay anywhere near $600,000 for Golf.tv. I cannot disclose the price but it was not $600,000.
Q4) What do you think about the new tlds coming down the road ? Will they affect .tv ?
Igal: Dot Tv is an international extension. When you look at the world the US has adopted .com, but when you go into other countries its all about the CCtld. Go to Holland and its .nl, you can register a dutch word in .com and it will not receive much traffic if any at all.
Now with the new extensions, take for example .music, it does not mean the same in every language. TV means TV universally.
These new domains will cause confusion and bring back value to the likes of .com and .tv. Toll free numbers work like domains in some respect. When there was a need to expand from 800, to whatever it was 888 ? The price went down 30%, when the next number 877 or something came it lowered the prices again. But when the next one came out all the prices went back up for the original because there was too much confusion. 800 is 800 and .com is .com, people will revert back to what they really know.
Q5) How do you feel .tv has done over the years ?
Igal: I think its gaining in popularity but it does not do enough for being 11 years old. I think they are getting smart by lowering the price and getting rid of premium renewal. I was not just a registrant back in the day, but I was also an investor in the Dot Tv Corp, I got my money back on the Verisign buyout.
Q6) What do you think about existing legacy premiums ?
Igal: They want you to return it, that’s why there was no deal for premium holders. They got your money for a few years and a premium renewal, now you can drop it and they get to resell it. Brilliant.
Q7) What do you think about leasing .tv names to entities not sold on the extension ?
Igal: I do it and it works. I leased Football.tv for a long time and then we got the name back, its now currently going to be leased again to another party.
Live.tv is another name we are now leasing, before the lease the name got hundreds of uniques a day. (Editors note NSFW). There is money in leasing if you have good names.
Q8) Do you still register or buy .tv names ?
Igal: No. I am done buying as I am focused on many development projects. No time for keeping up with the auctions and the drops.
Thank you very much for the time you spent today Igal.
Igal: It was my pleasure.