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In 2009, after many years of decline, the era of secondary affiliations to multiple major networks (once common in communities where fewer stations existed than networks seeking carriage) finally came to an end at the smallest-market U.S. station, KXGN-TV in Glendive, Montana (which was affiliated with both CBS and NBC). The digital conversion allowed KXGN to carry CBS and NBC programming side-by-side on separate subchannels, essentially becoming a primary affiliate of both networks.
Since the emergence of affiliate marketing, there has been little control over affiliate activity. Unscrupulous affiliates have used spam, false advertising, forced clicks (to get tracking cookies set on users' computers), adware, and other methods to drive traffic to their sponsors. Although many affiliate programs have terms of service that contain rules against spam, this marketing method has historically proven to attract abuse from spammers.
A similar rule exists in Japan, in which regulations governed by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (総務省 Sōmu-shō) limit the number of network-owned commercial television stations as a percentage of total national market reach. As such, commercial networks tend to have O&Os only in the four largest media markets (Kantō, Keihanshin, Chūkyō, and Fukuoka), and rely on affiliates to carry their programming in other prefectures. However, there are two major exceptions to the regulations. NHK is a government-owned, non-commercial television network and, since it is not covered by the ownership cap, owns and operates all of its stations. TV Tokyo Network is also not covered by the ownership cap due to the network's low number of affiliates (which are all owned by the network).
31, 1969, organizations requesting rulings or determinations that they are affiliates of a governmental unit must discuss in the request the presence or absence of each of the factors listed (in situations in which no ruling or determination has been received and facts and circumstances relevant to the determination (regarding the otherwise necessary administration of the law).