AskDefine | Define affiliates

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. Plural of affiliate

Extensive Definition

An affiliate is a commercial entity with a relationship with a peer or a larger entity.

Corporate structure

A corporation may be referred to as an affiliate of another when it is related to it but not strictly controlled by it, as with a subsidiary relationship, or when it is desired to avoid the appearance of control. This is sometimes seen with multinational companies that need to avoid restrictive laws (or negative public opinion) on foreign ownership.


In broadcasting, an affiliate (or affiliated station) is a local broadcaster which carries some or all of the programme line-up of a television or radio network but is owned by someone other than the owner of the network.
In most American commercial television networks, a few large stations in key markets are owned and operated (O&O) by the network itself, while smaller markets are served by affiliates. For instance, New York broadcasters WCBS-TV, WNBC, WABC-TV and WPBS-TV are not affiliates (they are network-owned, or in PBS's case, a "PBS member station" as that network's structure differs from the commercial O&O + affiliates model). In Canada, most television stations, regardless of market size, are now O&Os of their respective networks, with only a few true affiliates remaining.
While network-owned stations will normally carry the full programming schedule of the originating network, an affiliate is independently-owned and typically under no obligation to do so. Affiliated stations often buy supplementary programming from another source, such as a syndicator or another television network which does not have coverage in the station's broadcast area, in addition to the programming they carry from their primary network affiliation. In some smaller markets, a station may even be simultaneously listed as an affiliate of two networks.
In the United States, Federal Communications Commission regulations limit the number of network-owned stations as a percentage of total market size.

Electronic commerce

Affiliate marketing typically refers to an electronic commerce version of the traditional agent/referral fee sales channel concept. An e-commerce affiliate is a website which links back to an e-commerce site such as
However, as the e-commerce continues to evolve, e-commerce affiliates are no longer restricted to website owners. Bloggers and members of different online community forums can be affiliates as well. Many emerging affiliate programs are now accepting bloggers and individuals, not necessarily webmasters, to be affiliates.
Affiliates can also be referred as publishers. Affiliate marketers don't necessarily have to be affiliate marketers specifically. Sometimes such marketers can actually be the e-commerce web site that actually sells the products and services. The advantage of this method of marketing is that it cuts out the middleman but it does require the affiliates to have a high degree of trust in the software and people behind the e-commerce web site in question.
affiliates in Czech: Affiliate
affiliates in German: Affiliate (US-TV)
affiliates in Japanese: 成功報酬型広告
affiliates in Russian: Аффилированное лицо
affiliates in Swedish: Affiliate
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