Sister station
In broadcasting
Broadcasting is the distribution of audio and video content to a dispersed audience via any audio visual medium. Receiving parties may include the general public or a relatively large subset of thereof...

, sister stations or sister channels (or "sibling stations" in gender-neutral form) are radio
Radio station
Radio broadcasting is a one-way wireless transmission over radio waves intended to reach a wide audience. Stations can be linked in radio networks to broadcast a common radio format, either in broadcast syndication or simulcast or both...

 and/or television station
Television station
A television station is a business, organisation or other such as an amateur television operator that transmits content over terrestrial television. A television transmission can be by analog television signals or, more recently, by digital television. Broadcast television systems standards are...

s operated by the same ownership.

Radio sister stations will often have different formats
Radio format
A radio format or programming format not to be confused with broadcast programming describes the overall content broadcast on a radio station. Radio formats are frequently employed as a marketing tool, and constantly evolve...

, and often one station is on the AM band
Amplitude modulation
Amplitude modulation is a technique used in electronic communication, most commonly for transmitting information via a radio carrier wave. AM works by varying the strength of the transmitted signal in relation to the information being sent...

 while another is on the FM band
Frequency modulation
In telecommunications and signal processing, frequency modulation conveys information over a carrier wave by varying its instantaneous frequency. This contrasts with amplitude modulation, in which the amplitude of the carrier is varied while its frequency remains constant...

. Conversely, several types of sister-station relationships exist in television. Stations in the same city will usually be affiliate
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...

d with different television network
Television network
A television network is a telecommunications network for distribution of television program content, whereby a central operation provides programming to many television stations or pay TV providers. Until the mid-1980s, television programming in most countries of the world was dominated by a small...

s (often one with a major network and the other with a secondary network), and may occasionally shift television program
Television program
A television program , also called television show, is a segment of content which is intended to be broadcast on television. It may be a one-time production or part of a periodically recurring series...

s between each other when local events require one station to interrupt its network feed.

Sister stations in separate (but often nearby) cities owned by the same company may or may not share a network affiliation. For example, WNYW
WNYW, virtual channel 5 , is the flagship television station of the News Corporation-owned Fox Broadcasting Company, located in New York City. The station's transmitter is atop the Empire State Building and its studio facilities are located in the Yorkville section of Manhattan...

 and WWOR-TV
WWOR-TV, virtual channel 9 , is the flagship station of the MyNetworkTV programming service, licensed to Secaucus, New Jersey and serving the Tri-State metropolitan area. WWOR is owned by Fox Television Stations, a division of the News Corporation, and is a sister station to Fox network flagship...

, in New York City and Secaucus, New Jersey, are both owned by News Corporation. WNYW is a Fox affiliate; WWOR-TV is a My Network TV affiliate. In addition, stations in different cities affiliated with the same network, but not sharing an ownership tie, may refer to each other informally as sister stations.

Sister networks, in many cases, are cable or satellite channels which are launched to either broadcast series which either premiered on the main network but has been moved out of the higher-priority schedule (i.e. TV Land), fulfill a specific niche of content which would not be fulfilled on the main network (i.e. Nick Jr., Nicktoons) or broadcast to a wider audience than the main network (i.e. CNN International, Al Jazeera English). The establishment and proliferation of sister networks on cable, satellite and Internet providers has become easier and more commercially profitable over the history of such media venues.

See also

  • Concentration of media ownership
    Concentration of media ownership
    Concentration of media ownership refers to a process whereby progressively fewer individuals or organizations control increasing shares of the mass media...

  • Parent company
    Parent company
    A parent company is a company that owns enough voting stock in another firm to control management and operations by influencing or electing its board of directors; the second company being deemed as a subsidiary of the parent company...

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