New York Nonstop lacks easy domain

When WNBC-TV’s decided on a name for its new 24/7 cable news and lifestyle channel New York Nonstop, apparently dot-com availability wasn’t a requirement.

NEWYORKNONSTOP.COM directs users to a Internet services company, while NYNONSTOP.COM is a DJ site. The domain NYNONSTOP.TV and NEWYORKNONSTOP.TV are both registered as well, but don’t have active Web sites assigned to them. A shortened version of the channel’s name, NYNS.COM is taken (no surprise here since short domains are an extremely rare commodity today). Of all the most immediately obvious domains, only NEWYORKNS.COM is available; and it’s really not that obvious of a domain.

WNBC-TV probably prefers sending users to its main page, the recently rebranded NBCNEWYORK.COM, which is great for multiplatform brand synergy but not a good way to guarantee your brand remains solid and that users who don’t realize the cable channel is associated with channel 4 still can find your Web site. As mentioned in a previous NewscastTip column, snapping up all domains related to your station name is a good idea to ensure no one starts a rogue site or tries to exploit you for a ton of money for a domain.

We even tested, and and all of them were broken links. This seems to be a pretty big ommission since in this case, all that would have been needed is a simple redirect.

What’s even worse is that when one visits there’s no obvious navigational element for the channel’s site, only a banner ad (which likely won’t be a permanent fixture). Sure one could argue New York Nonstop is basically offering the same news content as WNBC-TV, but what about someone looking for a schedule or more information about something they saw on Nonstop?

There’s a book for Web designers and developers called “Bulletproof Web Design” that advocates making sure sites are as fail-safe as possible, including anticipating what users might type when trying to find things. It’s a good read and definitely would help a lot of TV stations make some improvements to their sites.