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I make my portfolio and have some problems with description of my works. I made some cartoons for local television. What is a correct form:

Short cartoons for weather forecast broadcast on a local television channel in 2012.

OR:

Short cartoons for weather forecast broadcast on a local television station in 2012.

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When TV and I were in our infancies (TV is older), we had programs that called themselves things like "The Channel 5 News". There was no expectation that TV stations wouldn't always be identified with the channel number they were originally assigned. Aren't CBS Channel 2, NBC Channel 4, and ABC Channel 7 everywhere in the USA still? –  user21497 Jan 28 '13 at 9:33
    
@Bill: No – network affiliation and channel numbers vary greatly from region to region. –  J.R. Jan 28 '13 at 10:27
    
@J.R.: Thank you. I don't know because I haven't watched American TV for decades. –  user21497 Jan 28 '13 at 10:57
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General Reference. From the viewer's perspective, they'd normally watch a [broadcast] channel. If OP wants to sell some of his work he'll probably approach the company who run that broadcasting station. –  FumbleFingers Jan 28 '13 at 18:01
    
Note that it is always 'radio station' (never 'radio channel'). Both sound fine with TV but 'TV channel' more likely. But you'd say 'change the channel' and never 'change the station') –  Mitch Jan 28 '13 at 19:44

4 Answers 4

I think either one is understandable, and it's unlikely anyone would find either alternative correct. As a matter of fact, the terms are pretty much recursively defined. From Collins:

channel (n.) a band of radio frequencies assigned for a particular purpose, esp. the broadcasting of a television signal

station (n.) a radio or television channel

From Macmillan:

channel (n.) a television station and the programs that it broadcasts

station (n.) a company that broadcasts television or radio programmes; a signal on a radio or television from a particular broadcasting company

That said, now that you've asked us to think about it, I'd be inclined to go with station, if I had to make a choice. Station seems more closely associated with the management of the station, who decided to air your cartoons. Channel seems more closely related to the frequency of the signal over which the cartoons were broadcast. However, that difference is very slight, and is likely to go undetected by most who would be reading your résumé.

The words aren't completely interchangeable, though. While channel might be used instead of station in this context, it's unlikely that an engineer concerned about the frequency spectrum would use station in place of frequency, but the word channel might be used.

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The material is used on a station that may or may not be distributed over a particular channel.

In the US, television station refers to a particular provider of content (e.g., WNBC in New York City). It may be distributed over the air, on a particular channel (again, e.g., Channel 4 in NYC), or over the internet, using a particular URL (web address). A given station could provide the same (or different) content over more than one channel.

Channel refers to a particular numerical place on the "dial". At one time, this was a specific frequency over the VHF or UHF spectrum, such as channel 2 (VHF) or channel 83 (UHF). The VHF "channel" were preset (fixed) in TVs analog tuners. The UHF channels were available through a continuous tuning dial.

Once cable became widespread, the channels were delivered over discrete datastreams that were independent of an actual frequency. However, these are still often described by, and accessed using, the channel number that is associated with the channel over which the station traditonally broadcast in that area. But not always.

The OP distributes her services through stations which may use a variety of channels (in the broadest sense) to reach viewers.

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This is true, however, sometimes the channel gets mentioned in a way that seems more closely aligned with the station (as in "We are 2 News"). Even though "2" ultimately refers to the channel, it seems to be treated as an identity in and of itself. You've done a good job chronicling how those boundaries got blurred over time. –  J.R. Jan 29 '13 at 1:27
    
Invariably the "2 News" type ID is associated with local stations and locally generated programming. The "network" (a morphing concept) content is notably numerical free. –  bib Jan 29 '13 at 1:41
    
I agree with you, but the O.P. mentions "local television channel/station" in the question, which is why I thought this was worth mentioning. –  J.R. Jan 29 '13 at 2:00

You can use either channel or station, but it might be wise to check which term the broadcaster itself uses. I suggest putting it this way:

I produced short cartoons in 2012 for the weather forecast on the local television channel [or station].

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Thank you, it is usefull! –  Catrin S Jan 28 '13 at 9:06

What is a correct form:

That probably depends on which English you use. The word station, is probably used in the USA. In the UK, people talk about television channels and don't really use the word stations, for television.

There is some information about it, here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Television_channel

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