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GE Owns Several Domains of Fictional Websites Referenced On Television Shows of Subsidiary NBC

February 15, 2012

Yesterday I wrote about my curious finding that General Electric Company owns the domain PokerFastlane.com.

Still struggling to find some connection between the two, my next step was to sleuth Google for some answers.  A search for the domain PokerFastlane.com revealed numerous hits referencing a quote from another television show called 30 Rock.  Here was the quote I kept running into:

Tracy: So GE will produce the Tracy Jordan Meat Machine?

Jack: Oh no, no. GE could never make something so… unique. We’ll have to pass this off to one of our subsidiaries. [Jack rolls down a complex organizational chart] You see, GE owns KitchenAll of Colorado, which in turn owns JMI of Stamford which is a majority shareholder of Pokerfastlane.com which recently acquired the Sheinhardt Wig Company which owns NBC outright. NBC owns Winnipeg Iron Works which owns the AHP Chanagi Party Meats company of Pyongyang, North Korea, and they will make the Meat Machine.

So, I had now uncovered two references to PokerFastlane.com from two separate television sitcoms – 30 Rock, and Law & Order SVU.

It turns out that both shows air on the same network – NBC, and that the parent company NBC Universal Studios is a subsidiary of General Electric, which it acquired in 1986. So it appears that GE bought the domain as protection for its recurring role in a number of television shows airing on its NBC network.

It’s certainly not the case that GE had to own the domain in order to reference its name on their shows, but I suspect that they purchased it as a form of protection, to ensure that no one could build on the domain and/or populate it with unfavorable content that might reflect negatively on the NBC network.

It also turns out that this is not an isolated purchase, but that GE in fact owns at least several more domain names of this nature.  In another episode of Law & Order SVU (they seemed to have had an emphasis on cyber crimes during that season), reference is made to the following (fictional) websites, all of which GE also owns the corresponding domains for:

  • RedLightManual.com
  • AlluringEnsemble.com
  • ForGoodCompany.com

GE planning to compete with Victoria's Secret? Nope, just covering their assets - domain assets

However there was also an additional site reference in this episode to which they did not own the domain:

  • ManhattanScienceMuseum.com

But there you have it.  General Electric is not entering the online poker business after all (nor the erotic lingerie business for that matter).   It is simply executing a strategy to register domains that protect fictional brands they create for reference in their hit television shows.  More power to them..

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