Note: Partner sites don't recognize keyword matching options. Therefore, all keywords on these sites are treated as broad-matched keywords.
This means, that when AOL displays Google AdWords ads on AOL Search, they might not listen to if you want to only show an ad for blue shoes, as opposed to red shoes. As you can imagine, this really got many advertisers worried.
The original poster brought this to the attention of his Google representative, who told him, that note needs to be clarified. He basically said, match types do apply to the search network, including search partners, but does not include the content network.
So match type controls do not make a difference on the content network, but they do make a difference on the search network and search partners.
Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.