New York City’s tallest office tower had a flurry of leasing deals recently as several television and radio stations signed on as vertical tenants. Rather than occupying conventional office space, the broadcasters signed 15-year leases for space on the tower’s 204-foot tall antenna.

Two major networks — NBC and ABC — signed leases for riser space, and both plan to broadcast both analog and digital (HDTV) signals from on high. A total of three FM radio stations also are leasing space on the antenna now.

"The Empire State Building, in addition to its favorable height, is centrally located to serve the required New York television broadcasting activity," says the building’s spokesperson.

Prior to the World Trade Center’s completion in the early 1970’s, the Empire State Building was the primary site for most New York television and radio broadcasters. The 9/11 attacks returned the Empire State Building to the top spot as New York City’s tallest building again, and since then many broadcasters have sought out space on top of the building’s towering antenna.

Leasing revenues from the latest wave of tenants will help the Empire State Building finance a $6 million upgrade that will see reinforced steel beams added to the giant mast and antenna on top of the building. The building’s owners are also adding more electrical capacity to the top of the building, while converting office space on the 77th, 78th and 79th floors into transmission stations to accommodate broadcasters.