By Bob Grossweiner and Jane Cohen Primary ticketing giant Ticketmaster this week announced it has created its first-ever online affiliate network in the U.S.,...

By Bob Grossweiner and Jane Cohen

Primary ticketing giant Ticketmaster this week announced it has created its first-ever online affiliate network in the U.S., becoming the first primary (original sale) ticketing company in the U.S. to offer an affiliate program. Consumers and organizations can register to become affiliates on the company’s website and begin earning commissions for online ticket sales that originate via links from their websites.

Registered affiliates will receive access to use Ticketmaster’s new EventEngine widget on their website to alert visitors about upcoming events and link them to Ticketmaster’s site. Ticketmaster affiliates will also have access to Ticketmaster search buttons, banners and link engines.

By adding an affiliates program, Ticketmaster is continuing its move toward expanding its reach as it prepares for life without its largest client, Live Nation, once the ticket-selling contract between the two expires at the end of 2008.

“We are going to continue expanding the network with more tools and functionality, and we expect to roll out the program globally in the near future,” Sean Moriarty, Ticketmaster’s president and CEO, said in a statement.

The Ticketmaster affiliate program and EventEngine widget were developed in association with buy at, Inc., which will provide Ticketmaster with affiliate support, tracking, reporting and payment services.