A twinstick, in Canadian broadcasting, is an informal term for two television stations, broadcasting in the same market, which are owned by the same company. The term derives from the use of "stick", in broadcasting industry jargon, as a term for a broadcast transmitter tower.
Under Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission rules, twinsticks are permitted in two very different market types: either the market must be too small to support two separate commercial broadcasters competing for advertising dollars, or the market must be large enough that a diversity of broadcast voices already exists.
Examples of the small community type include CHFD and CKPR in Thunder Bay, Ontario, and CITL and CKSA in Lloydminster, Alberta/Saskatchewan. As the Global Television Network owns all of its affiliate stations directly, twinsticks of this type always involve CTV and CBC stations, and are becoming increasingly rare as the CBC buys out its remaining privately-owned affiliates.
Small market twinsticks are almost always owned and operated by independent broadcasters. CTV directly owned several twinsticks it had inherited from Baton Broadcasting in 1997 (four stations in Northern Ontario which were part of the MCTV system, and two in Saskatchewan), but these were sold to the CBC in 2002.
Examples of the large market type include CITY and CKVR in the Greater Toronto Area (both owned by CHUM Limited), CIII and CHCH in the Greater Toronto Area (both owned by Global) and CHAN and CHEK in the Vancouver-Victoria area (both owned by Global). Unlike the situation in smaller markets, this type of "media convergence" twinstick is becoming more and more common.