It’s August already! We’re in the heart of the summer, which is traditionally a slower time in the live television business. But not for us!
If you turned on your television this past week, chances are you saw some footage from the Democratic debates in Detroit. Regardless of your political leanings, it was one heckuva big event, and our PSSI News Group team was there in full force to provide CNN with extensive satellite and communications services. The list of engineers in Detroit is a who’s who of the most seasoned news veterans in the business. Scott Garber, Steve Mills, Bill O’Toole, Lorenzo Dottori, Todd Anderson, Chris Stewart, and Michael Humphrey were all there all week for all of the desk shows, recaps, remote live shots, and the debates themselves, of course! It was a remarkable event enjoyed by millions, and a preview of what’s going to be a stunningly busy election cycle as we approach 2020.
Back at our LA shop, we did a little show and tell with our mobile production/uplink bus with a few producers looking ahead to the election season. Our LA crew has been keeping her clean and upgrading the environmental and technical systems in preparation of nationwide news coverage. We have a firm booking in September, and few more things planned, but she remains available for any large-scale live event needs!
Before we move onto all the sports on our schedule, let’s have a look at what’s been a busy week in Hollywood. Can you believe what happened on the Bachelorette on Monday and Tuesday? John Jennings and Chris Hovden are still reeling from Hannah B’s roller coaster of a final rose ceremony. We were there at the Warner Bros Ranch Studios in Burbank to provide primary and backup satellite transmissions of this huge live event. Our part of the show went flawlessly; Hannah and Jed wish they could say the same!
Chris Hovden’s continuing his run of non-sporting events on Friday’s Chasing the Cure event, which is produced live at LA Center Studios in DTLA. This is the show’s second rehearsal before going live to air on TBS and TNT next week. We are in sync with the great production team there and looking forward to the premiere on August 8th!
Back to the sports world. It’s been a busy week for racing, and the action is really heating up this weekend. It’s time for IMSA WeatherTech racing at Road America in Elkhart Lake, WI. We have two C-band trucks at the truck providing NASCAR with 30 video paths and hundreds of audios. Mike Sheehan and Rick Ball are side-by-side cranking out the data from their antennas to our team at PSSI International Teleport, where we ingest the signals and hand them off to NASCAR via AT&T Global Video Services fiber. We’re also sending back a return feed from the teleport back to the trucks in Wisconsin. It’s quite a show!
The C27 mobile teleport is back at The Glen in Watkins Glen, NY this week for a series of races leading up to Go Bowling at The Glen on Sunday. Jonathan Ayala and Kyle Meyer are at the helm of the truck this week as we provide extensive data, fiber, and satellite services out of the C27. We are the hub of the massive amount of video, audio, and data that NASCAR requires to produce one of the most cutting-edge shows on television.
Earlier in the week, WWE regular Zane Michaels picked up a race of his own in between last Tuesday’s Smackdown in Memphis and this coming Monday’s RAW in Pittsburgh. Zane was at the Eldora Speedway in Ohio for the Eldora Dirt Derby, a race in the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series.
More Big3 hoops this weekend. San Diego-based engineer, Larry Sheets, is enjoying a trip to the middle of the country for back-to-back games at Allstate Arena in Chicago and the Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee. Big3 hoops continues its nationwide tour, and we’re proud to be a part of the action.
And we’re back at Angel of the Winds Arena for more Seattle Storm WNBA hoops on Friday. David Meyer has the trusty K20 truck parked in his reserved spot to provide the transmission pathway for the game between the Storm and the Washington Mystics.
More World Team Tennis! It’s Finals Weekend at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas on Friday and Saturday. We pulled out the big guns for this big event: Brian Blomstrom is running the CK35 mobile teleport to deliver all the tennis action to fans across the world. It’s been a great run with our friends at RMD International, and we’re grateful to have been a part of this exciting tennis series.
Of course there’s golf, too. Craig Henry’s rounding out a solid week of Golf Channel News coverage live from the Sedgefield Country Club in Greensboro, NC. Craig’s providing multiple satellite paths and extensive comms support for the production crew at the Wyndam Championship, with final round play on Sunday. It’s a little strange to have only one golf tournament this week, but the action picks up quite a bit of steam into August and September. We can’t wait!
And how about some MLS soccer? Mike Howley drove a truck from a successful hospital event in Memphis to Mercedes Benz Stadium in Atlanta for Saturday’s game between the LA Galaxy and the Atlanta United FC on Fox.
Volleyball! Kevin Spangler’s at the CenturyLink Center in Bossier City, LA for the Fédération Internationale de Volleyball Olympic Qualifier matches this weekend. The USA FIVB team will face challengers from Bulgaria, Argentina, and Kazakhstan on this stop in the FIVB World Tour.
Those of us in the scheduling department spent a lot of time this week filling up our fall schedule with college, pro, and high school football games. It’s going to be another busy season for us. Steve Hagerty couldn’t wait any longer to get started! On Thursday Steve and Dave Mitchell took a truck down to Heinz Field to do some testing with KDKA as we prepare for some preseason Steelers football. From there Steve headed over to Canton, OH to get set for Friday’s NFL Gold Jacket Ceremony at the Canton Memorial Civic Center. We’re always glad to be a part of the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s exciting ceremonies, and Steve’s done a great job with a multiplexed transmission that will end up on the NFL Network.
Rick Kolinek is back at Lambeau Field for the annual Packers’ Family Night. This is a great event for the local community and Packers fans nationwide, as the team conducts a live practice and interacts with the fans during a night of exciting festivities. We are back at Lambeau next week for the real deal when the NFL preseason kicks off!
Let’s finish up with some fighting.
Ron Ford is all set up the Bomb Factory in Dallas, TX for Legacy Fighting Alliance 73, live on AXS TV on Friday night. The main event of this night of MMA action is a bout between Adrian Yanez and Levi Mowles, and Ron will be there to transmit that fight and all the undercards.
Mati Kerpen is back at Barclays in Brooklyn on Saturday night. Strategic Television project manager, Michael Hollander, has booked all the fiber and satellite resources for the PBC on Fox World Feed. Mati’s there at the origination to monitor the fiber feed to the PSSI International Teleport, which will turn the signal to multiple international regions. PIT will stream a private feed to Michael for remote monitoring as he checks in with licensees around the world.
When Mati wraps there, he’ll head to the Cutting Room in Manhattan for the next stop in the Bud Light Dive Bar Tour. The Monday night show features Post Malone, and you can watch Mati’s uplink online.
We’re at the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ, where it’s time for another UFC on ESPN event. Tracy Michaels is once again tech managing for our friends at Concom, while EIC Jim Flowers and Blake Blomstrom handle domestic and international transmission out of the CK25 mobile teleport. Strategic Television project manager, Keith Valeri, will be checking in with the PSSI International Teleport and licensees around the world to ensure that all the UFC action gets where it needs to go. UFC on ESPN 5 features Colby Covington versus Robbie Lawler in the main event, with a series of exciting undercards on ESPN and worldwide broadcast outlets. Another big show, another great crew! The best in the business!
We’ll close with a tip of the hat to Renee Fortier, who is leaving PSSI Global Services after more than 20 years of service. Of her many contributions to our company, she had a strong hand in pulling together the Weekly Roundup every week. She really had her finger on the pulse of all the things going on in the field, and she will be missed!
Tune in next week for more exciting events from the World’s Transmission Experts!