Holy smokes, what a weekend! We’ve been preparing for the opening weekend of college football for a couple of months, and all of our plans are well underway for an action-packed weekend of transmission, project management, and connectivity services.
Before we get into the college schedule, let’s talk NFL.
Our friends at KDKA in Pittsburgh have been keeping us busy with preseason Steelers action. Steve Toth was at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte on Thursday night, where the Carolina Panthers beat the Steelers.
More action at Lambeau Field. Larry Sheets was there on Thursday night, when the Green Bay Packers came away with a win over the Kansas City Chiefs.
Wes Hill was up at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, CA on Thursday night for the game between the 49ers and the San Diego Chargers. Wes provided a C-band backhaul of the game as well as closed captioning for our friends at KPIX.
All the way back East, Mike Lemieux was at Metlife Stadium in New Jersey, where the Jets hosted the Philadelphia Eagles. Mike had a 2-channel mux for English and Spanish broadcasts of the big game.
Still more Thursday night NFL! Steve Hagerty was back at First Energy Stadium in Cleveland, where the Browns beat the winless Detroit Lions.
Chicago native Rick Kolinek went to Soldier Field with his K22 truck. There the Bears lost to the Tennessee Titans.
Ron “Roadrunner” Ford made his way to NRG Stadium in Houston, where the Texans hosted the LA Rams.
And Chris Golden was back at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville, where the Jaguars got whipped by the Atlanta Falcons.
PSSI veteran Eric Storlie is the project manager for all but two of these NFL games, and he had a lot of paperwork flying out of his computer into the hands of all of our college football engineers. Eric is managing not one, not two, but TEN college football games this weekend for our friends at Fox, with a high school game on Fox Sports Net to boot!
Let’s start with the high school game, which was a big one down in Texas. John May and Justin Roszak took the CK48 mobile teleport to R. Clinton Schulze Stadium in Mason, TX for the big matchup between Mason and Wall. We provided our friends at Fox Sports Net with much more than just a backhaul. In collaboration with the PSSI International Teleport, John and Justin also provided phones and internet to production via satellite. Our transmission vehicles can do much more than uplinks, and we are always pleased to have an opportunity to flex our muscles.
Justin, a Florida resident, left for home after the game to prepare for Hurricane Dorian (more on that later). John May’s continuing on to Lubbock, TX in the CK48 for Saturday’s game between Texas Tech and Montana State.
We already have a couple of college games in our rearview mirror. Brian Blomstrom was at the TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis for Thursday night’s game between the Gophers and South Dakota St. Immediately following the game, Eric Storlie (the guy can do it all!) took the wheel and drove C41 down to Jack Trice Stadium in Ames, IA, where we’re setting up for Saturday’s game between Northern Iowa and the Iowa State Cyclones. This will be a “home run” production for Fox, their version of the at-home shows we’ve perfected over the past few years. Brian will be transmitting several multiplexed cameras over satellite for Fox’s remote production team to finish for broadcast.
Brian’s brother, Paul, handled a very similar transmission at Lavell Edwards Stadium in Provo, UT on Thursday night. Paul was there for ESPN’s at-home production of the game between BYU and the Utah Utes. Paul encoded, multiplexed, and uplinked 10 cameras back to ESPN headquarters in Bristol for production. Paul had all the power of the CK35 mobile teleport behind him for this complex transmission. As Director of Broadcast Sports, Rick Ball, says: “This isn’t your mother’s uplink.” Nice job, Paul!
Back to Brian B: following the game in Ames he will head to Chicago to provide more multiplexed transmission services for the NFL Network’s NFL Kickoff show, live from Grant Park. So much football!
Back to college, and back to Iowa, where 4K guru Rick Varney is back in business! We are pleased to kick off another season of weekly 4K + HD uplinks for our friends at Fox. This week Rick is joined by Mike Howley at Kinnick Stadium for Saturday’s game between the Hawkeyes and Miami of Ohio. Rick and Mike have two high-powered C-band trucks side-by-side for dual feeds back to Fox in LA.
Joe Kelderhouse made a pit stop in Columbus, OH with the CK30 mobile teleport, meeting up with Nick Ray for Ohio State’s home opener against Florida Atlantic on Saturday, also on the Fox networks. From there Joe and Nick head to Baltimore for WWE’s Monday Night RAW and Tuesday night Smackdown in Norfolk, VA.
Joe Cox is up at Reser Stadium in Corvallis, OR, where Oregon State hosts the Oklahoma State Cowboys in a Friday night game. Usually our Seattle-based engineer, David Meyer, would cover this game, but he’s up at Thunderbird Stadium in Vancouver, BC for Canadian college football. The University of British Columbia hosts Regina on Saturday afternoon, the first of a series of games we’re doing at UBC.
Back in the Fox rotation, a little bit down the coast, Wes Hill is getting set up at Stanford Stadium, where the Cardinal host Northwestern on Saturday afternoon.
Blake Blomstrom has the CK25 mobile teleport at Spartan Stadium in East Lansing, MI, where Michigan State hosts Tulsa in their home opener on Friday night. From there Blake heads down to Canton, OH for the NFL Network’s coverage of the Black College Football Hall of Fame Classic on Sunday afternoon. What a great event!
Still more college football! We are very excited to kick off another season of Army and Navy home games for our friends at CBS Sports Network. Mike Lemieux gets things started in West Point on Friday night, where Army hosts Rice. Then on Saturday, Kyle Meyer will have the C42 parked at Navy Marine Corps Stadium in Annapolis for the matchup between Navy and Holy Cross.
Dave Mitchell is making the first of many trips to Mountaineer Field in Morgantown, WV. He’s there for WVU versus James Madison on Saturday.
Finally, one last football game on the schedule before we get into the golf of the weekend. Kevin Spangler took the C31 to Sherman Bearcat Stadium in Sherman, TX for Thursday night’s high school football matchup between Denison and Sherman on Fox Sports Net. He then travels up the road a mere 50 miles to Thackerville, OK, for Golf Channel’s coverage of the Volvik World Long Drive Championship, live from the WinStar World Casino!
Back West, Dave Brin is all set up for the final rounds at Columbia Edgewater Country Club in Portland, OR. It’s the Cambia Portland Classic, and Dave will be there through Sunday before he takes the truck up to Seattle for next weekend’s college football lineup.
Golf Channel mainstay Craig Henry is at the beautiful Victoria National Golf Club in Newburgh, IN for the WEB.com Tour Championship, which will wrap up the final round on Labor Day.
And Mike Sheehan rounds out this week’s golf events all the way up in Calgary at the Canyon Meadows Golf & Country Club. It’s the Shaw Charity Classic, and Mike is all set for a great weekend of golf before he heads back across the border for even more football next weekend.
Big weekend of racing. Dave Buckman’s headed up to Watkins Glen on Sunday for more Blancpain GT World Challenge America sportscar racing.
And the C27 mobile teleport is down at Darlington Raceway in South Carolina, all set up for the NASCAR Throwback Weekend. Jonathan Ayala and Ben Bradshaw are managing multiple inbound and outbound feeds via fiber and satellite, and providing a gig of data to the compound, through the truck, via AT&T Global Video Services fiber. The Bojangles Southern 500 takes place on Sunday afternoon, but we’ve got racing all week long.
Just one basketball game for us this weekend, as the Big3 basketball season comes to an end at the Staples Center on Sunday. This has been a great tour for us, as we’ve been covering all the Big3 action across the country. John Jennings will bring it home for us on Sunday afternoon with a C-band transmission from LA.
We have a couple of exciting entertainment and enterprise events coming up, as well. Mati Kerpen’s touring NYC with a group of Japanese broadcasters who are producing a live remote insert into a Japanese concert featuring Nogizaka46. Project manager Garrett Hunt is handling all the distribution to and from Tokyo. Check out the NT34 in Times Square!
Steve Hagerty is spending his Labor Day weekend at Niagara Falls, where Porsche is introducing its new electric vehicle, the Taycan. Niagara Falls is one of multiple sites around the world that will live stream the announcement. We’re excited to be working with our friends at NEP Connect on this project!
More boxing this weekend, as usual. Mark Huss is setting up our LA Sprinter at Pasadena City Hill for Golden Boy Friday Night boxing. Mark will be the source feed for the fight’s international distribution, which project manager Michael Hollander will oversee with a little help from our friends at PSSI International Teleport, who will turn Mark’s signal to boxing fans around the world.
Mr. Hollander has also arranged for the international distribution of PBC boxing on Saturday night, live from The Armory in Minneapolis. Larry Sheets will provide the domestic feed for Fox as well as the international source feed for the promoter. Here again PIT will play a key role, as they’ll take in Larry’s feed for worldwide distribution.
Big time international events this weekend. Project manager David Gallardo has been working with our friends at Top Rank and ESPN to arrange for multiple feeds out of London’s O2 Arena, where Vasily Lomachenko will take on Luke Campbell in Saturday’s main event. Special thanks to our friends at Globecast, who will be providing the local SNG services, and Nextologies, who will help us deliver a feed via IP from London to Top Rank’s offices in Las Vegas. Nice job by David pulling it all together remotely, as he won’t be traveling for this show to handle in person.
The rest of our Strategic Television crew is on the road, to be sure. It’s time for WWE NXT UK TakeOver: Cardiff, live from Motorpoint Arena in Cardiff, Wales this weekend. WWE engineer Zane Michaels is working alongside project manager Logan Schinto to provide WWE with extensive domestic and international transmission solutions for this exciting international event.
A wee bit further from home, STV project manager Keith Valeri and senior engineer Tracy Michaels are in Shenzhen, China for UFC Fight Night: Andrade versus Zhang, live from the Shenzhen Universade Sports Centre Arena. Keith and Tracy were on an airplane for quite a while, followed by long cab rides through brutal Shenzhen traffic. Working with technology from our friends at Nextologies, and the PSSI International Teleport as the North American hub, the off-site weigh-in went off without a hitch. Keith and Tracy are collaborating with a local vendor for extensive, redundant satellite transmissions from site, with distribution of the main event to ESPN+ and other outlets around the world. From Shenzhen, Keith and Tracy travel to Abu Dhabi for UFC 242, the first UFC pay-per-view to originate from Yas Island in the UAE. It’s an exciting time to collaborate with our friends from Concom and UFC!
Last, but definitely not least, it looks like we have a serious hurricane bearing down on Florida. Our PSSI News Group team has been mobilized for all of CNN’s coverage. A veritable all-star team of news veterans are making their way to the Florida coast: Lorenzo Dottori, Al Meshberg, Scott Garber, and Bob Tweed are stockpiling supplies and preparing for the worst. Chris Golden and Abi Falcon are also getting their truck set for ABC’s coverage of the storm. Our Orlando shop is battening the hatches and ensuring our assets and personnel remain safe through the storm. Please be careful out there, guys, and thank you for bringing images of this huge storm to the rest of the world.
We wish all of our friends, families, customers, and partners a safe and happy Labor Day! Here’s to an exciting fall season of live events!