Television station  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

A television station is a business, organisation or other enterprise, such as an amateur television (ATV) operator, that transmits (broadcasts) content over terrestrial television. A television transmission can occur via analog television signals or, more recently, via digital television signals. Broadcast television systems standards are set by the government, and these vary around the world. Television stations broadcasting over an analog system were typically limited to one television channel, but digital television enables broadcasting via subchannels as well. The term "television station" is normally applied to terrestrial television stations, and not to cable television or satellite television broadcasting.

Television stations usually require a broadcast license from a government agency which sets the requirements and limitations on the station. In the United States, for example, a television license defines the broadcast range, or geographic area, that the station is limited to, allocates the broadcast frequency of the radio spectrum for that station's transmissions, sets limits on what types of television programs can be programmed for broadcast, and requires a station to broadcast a minimum amount of certain programs types, such as public affairs messages, among other conditions.

Most commercial television stations are owned independently, but many are either affiliated with a television network or are owned-and-operated (O&O) by a television network. Another form a television station may take is non-commercial educational (NCE) and considered public broadcasting. To avoid concentration of media ownership of television stations, government regulations in most countries generally limit the ownership of television stations by television networks or other media operators, but these regulations vary considerably. Some countries have set up nationwide television networks, in which individual television stations act as mere repeaters of nationwide programs. In those countries, the local television station has no station identification and, from a consumer's point of view, there is no practical distinction between a network and a station, with only small regional changes in programming, such as local television news.

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Television station" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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