From The TV IV
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A local station is a broadcaster assigned a city of license and localized to a specific market area by the FCC in the United States and by the CRTC in Canada. They are designated by call letters and assigned specific frequency ranges or channels to broadcast over but sometimes they have boosters on other channels allowing them to broadcast to extreme areas of their market. The national broadcast networks are only transmitted by affiliation agreements with local stations and station groups but not all local stations have network affiliations. These affiliation agreements ensure that only one station per market will carry each network. The FCC and the CRTC regulate how many local stations an individual company can own in a particualr DMA.