Affiliates

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Dictionary Meaning and Definition on 'Affiliates'

Wikipedia Meaning and Definition on 'Affiliates'


In the broadcasting industry (especially in North America), a network affiliate (or affiliated station) is a local broadcaster which carries some or all of the program line-up of a television or radio network, but is owned by a company other than the owner of the network. This distinguishes such a station from an owned-and-operated station (O&O), which is owned by its parent network.

Notwithstanding this distinction, it is common in informal speech (even for networks or O&Os themselves) to refer to any station, O&O or otherwise, that carries a particular network's programming as an affiliate, or to refer to the status of carrying such programming in a given market as "affiliation".

In the United States, Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulations limit the number of network-owned stations as a percentage of total market size. As such, networks tend to have O&Os only in the largest media markets (e.g. New York City and Los Angeles), and rely on affiliates to carry their programming in other markets. However, even the largest markets may have network affiliates in lieu of O&Os. For instance, Tribune Broadcasting's WPIX serves as the New York City affiliate for the CW Television Network, which does not have an O&O in that market. On the other hand, several other TV stations in the same market — WABC (ABC), WCBS (CBS), WNBC (NBC), WNJU (Telemundo), WNYW (Fox), WWOR-TV (MyNetworkTV), WPXN (ION), WXTV (Univision) and WFUT (TeleFutura) — are O&Os.

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