There’s no doubt about it: winter is here. A lot of our guys are bundled up pretty well this weekend as they provide the same impeccable services our customers have come to expect, no matter the weather. Here’s a look at what we’re up to across the country.
Let’s ease into the weather by kicking things off in sunny Florida. Chris Golden has spent a great deal of his 2019 on a golf course, so it is fitting that he’s working on our final Golf Channel event of 2019. It has been another flawless season of golf for us, with hundreds of tournaments across the country and beyond. Great job by our army of golf engineers, project manager, Jennifer Hyder-Michaels, and EIC Tracy Michaels for making it look easy. Chris is wrapping up the season in style at the Ritz-Carlton Tiburon Golf Club in Naples, FL. The QBE Shootout will finish play on Sunday and we’ll all take a breath before kicking off 2020 in Hawaii.
Mike Howley had another successful WWE NXT event on Wednesday night at Full Sail University in Winter Park, FL. We’re glad to be there – right in our back yard – every Wednesday with our friends at WWE. Mike stayed in town for a little high school basketball on Thursday, as Montverde Academy hosted (and defeated) DeMatha live on ESPNU. Mr. Howley will spend a rare weekend at home before heading back to Full Sail next Wednesday.
More hoops in Morgantown, WV, where Dave “Mitch” Mitchell is back at WVU Coliseum for Mountaineer basketball. The ‘Eers host Nichols State on Saturday, and Pittsburgh-based Mitch will go down and back for the broadcast.
Otherwise it’s a quiet weekend for college basketball, but a big weekend for college football. Justin Roszak’s at James Madison University’s Bridgeforth Stadium for the Friday night game between the Northern Iowa Panthers and the James Madison Dukes, live on ESPN2. It’s the quarterfinals of the FCS Playoffs, and Justin’s doing a big at-home transmission – sending 10 cameras back to ESPN headquarters in Connecticut with a 2.4m antenna. Nice work, Justin!
All eyes will be on CBS’s broadcast of the classic Army/Navy game, live from Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia on Saturday. Rick Ball is there, as he is every year, to deliver the goods for our friends at CBS. PSSI News Group’s Chris Stewart is parked right next to Rick for CNN’s coverage of the big game.
Speaking of the news, we are all gearing up for the next Democratic Presidential Debate right here in Southern California next week. We will be working with our friends at NEP and WETA to provide extensive 2-way transmission services and onsite project management, and our News Group team will be at Loyola Marymount University in full force for all of CNN’s coverage of the action. More to come next week.
The PSSI Pittsburgh Videotech Center had its hands full on Friday with a live remote production of MSNBC’s Live with Ari Velshi. Our team at the studio set up multiple inbound and outbound feeds for camera, teleprompter, and comms with both fiber and IP transport. It was great to flex our production muscles at our lovely downtown Pittsburgh location!
And speaking of production muscles, Blake Blomstrom and Ron Ford have their hands full at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City this weekend. It’s our final NFL Tailgate show, live on NFL Network before the game on Sunday. Blake and Ron have a helluva cable run in the parking lot, as we will be providing extensive, multi-camera production and transmission services – including onsite tech management – for our friends at the NFL Network. We’ve had a great run with their team this season, and we’re already looking forward to the next opportunity to work together!
Sticking in the Midwest, we have two different trucks for two different customers within half a mile of each other in Milwaukee on Friday night. Rick Kolinek’s back at the UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena for more AHL hockey, as the Chicago Wolves are in town to take on the Milwaukee Admirals. And right around the corner, Nick Ray is on the CK30 mobile teleport for WWE’s Friday Night SmackDown show at the Fiserv Forum. Newly anointed Driver of the Quarter, Joe Kelderhouse will help Nick pack up the truck after the show tonight before he heads to Minneapolis for this Sunday’s Tables, Ladders, Chairs pay-per-view at the Target Center. Strategic Television project manager, Logan Schinto, will join forces with Zane Michaels for the big show, as we will provide extensive transmission services for domestic and international distribution. Lance Banks and the team at the PSSI International Teleport have their marching orders and will be providing top-shelf turnaround and QC services for WWE, as usual. From Minnesota Joe and Zane head to the Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines, IA for Monday Night RAW. Yes, it’s pretty cold out there…
We’ve got two pay-per-views on the schedule this weekend, which is just how we like it. It’s a lot warmer in Las Vegas, and our UFC crew is all set up at the T-Mobile Arena for UFC 245 on Saturday night. Kamaru Usman takes on Colby Covington in the co-main event, with Max Holloway and Alexander Volkanovski rounding out the main card. EIC Jim Flowers and project manager, Garrett Hunt, have been working with our friends at Concom all week to get the show prepared, and today’s test and weigh-in are looking good as we move multiple signals through the PIT teleport and to UFC fans around the world. Senior engineer, Brian Blomstrom, is at the helm of the CK35 mobile teleport – a truck he helped build – while Joe Cox is on the emergency backup truck. This crew knows the UFC pay-per-view setup like the backs of their hands, and we are looking forward to a perfect show on Saturday night.
We’re back at Madison Square Garden yet again for another big fight this weekend. Terence Crawford takes on Egidijus Kavaliauskas in another Top Rank on ESPN event, live on Saturday night on ESPN+ and around the world. Seasoned engineer Mike Lemieux is in the CK25 mobile teleport for the show, with Strategic Television project manager, David Gallardo, sitting next to him to handle the international distribution for our friends at Top Rank. On Thursday, Lemieux and Mati Kerpen had their hands full at the Stewart Hotel, where the fighters held a satellite media tour that included not one, not two, but FORTY live hits. Mike handled the audio and sent the video out a window down to Mati’s truck on 7th Ave. Tricky show, but our guys made it look easy.
More boxing out West. Wes Hill’s back at Fantasy Springs in Indio, CA for DAZN’s broadcast of Golden Boy Boxing on Friday night. Brad “King” Solomon takes on Vergil Ortiz, Jr. in the main event. We’re working with our friends at Aldea to provide multiple satellite paths for DAZN’s international and domestic feeds.
Staying in California, San Diego-based Larry Sheets will be working close to home for Saturday’s Foot Locker Cross Country National Championships, live from Balboa Park. Our team at PIT will take in Larry’s feed and stream on YouTube, where the whole world can watch the men’s and women’s championship races.
A few hundred miles up the coast, Steve Chaisson and project manager Eric Storlie will be at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on Sunday for what will be the last Oakland Raiders game ever. The O.Co Coliseum isn’t exactly the finest stadium in NFL football, but the fans are legendary and the atmosphere has been electric for many years. Steve and Eric will be there to capture some of the energy for CBS’s broadcast of the game.
And back here at the LA office, we are putting the finishing touches on the next issue of PSSI’s Transmission Times, our quarterly newsletters. Check Facebook and your inboxes for the link next week, and have a look at everything we’ve been doing this past quarter, as well as a look ahead to some exciting news for 2020. Thanks to everyone for reading!