On Sunday, as ABC’s Chopper 7 hovered nearby to capture the action, a helicopter flew a massive antenna to the top of Willis Tower in Chicago. A crew waiting at the top of the skyscraper completed the final stage of installation.
The fixture, which weighs 5,000 pounds and stands 32 feet tall, isn’t just for decoration. ABC7 added the antenna to boost its over-the-air broadcast signal so more Chicago residents can tune in to ABC programs and local news coverage. Viewers can expect better picture quality as well.
Placing OTA antennas at high points increases its scope to bring customers a wider range of channels. Tall towers can help expand OTA broadcast ranges further from the source signal. ABC Broadcast Operations Manager Conlan Fay said the antenna, which sits atop the highest building in the city, allows ABC7 to send its signal farther and improve the overall reception quality. This antenna and the signal boost make it easier for consumers to grab ABC’s signals without a pricey cable or satellite package. Households with an antenna installed can skip the cable packages and still tune in to local stations. Adding a few streaming services can help consumers cut out cable altogether while keeping up with current events most relevant to them.
Multiple OTA and radio stations place antennas on Willis Tower, including Fox, NBC, Weigel Broadcasting, CBS, and ABC. Check out ABC’s Chopper 7’s footage of the antenna’s installation on ABC 7 Chicago’s YouTube Channel.
According to ABC7 Chicago, some crew members signed it before it took flight.