After a busy Thanksgiving weekend, the fun still hasn’t stopped. We’re kicking December off with a full schedule of boxing, basketball, golf, college football and beyond.
Nick Ray and C42 — which now has a brand new engine and transmission — spent their Thursday evening at the MGM National Harbor Casino in Oxon Hill, Maryland, for a night of boxing. It was another three-channel mux in the Golden Boy on ESPN series, featuring Lamont Roach vs. Rey “Flash” Perez.
Nick then flies forward to join our team in Detroit for UFC 218, live on Saturday night from the Little Caesars Arena. UFC vets Jim Flowers and Tracy Michaels have been setting up for the last couple of days while project manager Garrett Hunt has been distributing transmission paperwork to takers around the world. John Bright and Steve Hagerty are there, as well, manning the FS1 and emergency backup feeds for what is going to be an exciting night of fighting. On Saturday John will also handle a unilateral production for viewers in Brazil, who are thrilled see their own Jose Aldo square off against Max Holloway in the main event. There’s plenty of work to be done to keep our guys warm in Detroit this weekend!
In Vegas it’s UFC’s The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) Finale Friday night, live from the Park Theater. Engineers Paul Blomstrom, Ray Loyko and Matt Huennekens are manning the CK35 while project managers Keith Valeri and Tommy Lopez manage the domestic and international distribution to TUF fans worldwide.
Ray’s taking a down day on Friday so that he can hustle the CK35 to Moffett Field for Sunday’s broadcast of the Breakthrough Prize, an awards show celebrating the work of scientists around the world. Brian Blomstrom and Steve Chaisson will manage C-band and Ku-band feeds of the event, which airs live on National Geographic, Facebook and YouTube Sunday night.
We’ve got yet another big fight at Madison Square Garden on Saturday night. Engineer in charge Mike Lemieux joins project manager Eric Hall and Mati Kerpen for HBO’s broadcast of Cotto vs. Ali. Michael Hollander and Mike Howley will be working the international feed, delivering the fight to boxing fans around the world.
Mati has a busy weekend, as Sunday he finds himself at the Nassau Coliseum in Long Island, New York, where the Long Island Nets take on the Raptors 905 in NBA G-League action Sunday afternoon.
More hoops up the road in Kingston, Rhode Island, where Rick Varney and Dave Buckman are on hand for the game between the Providence Friars and the Rhode Island Rams. From there Mr. Buckman hustles down to Washington, D.C. for a multiday corporate event. It’s hard to say whether Dave is more excited about the basketball or three days of accounting seminars in our nation’s capital!
We have even more winter sports in Rockford, Illinois, where Rick Kolinek is working with Program Productions for Friday night’s Chicago Wolves game.
Across the country in Portland, Oregon, we have some, well, cross country action. David Meyer is at the 2017 Nike Cross Nationals meet at the Glendoveer Golf Course this weekend. The PSSI International Teleport will downlink David’s feed from Portland and stream the action live on runnerspace.com. Just one of many examples of what PSSI Global Services is doing beyond the traditional satellite uplink!
We have more nontraditional sports coverage starting on Sunday in Vegas, where Joe Cox will provide transmission services for British Sky Broadcasting’s coverage of the Mosconi Cup, a multiday billiards tournament, live from the Mandalay Bay Casino.
We STILL have our share of golf on the schedule! Blake Blomstrom is rounding out a great week of extensive news and tournament coverage of the Hero World Challenge at the Albany resort in New Providence, Bahamas. Our newly renovated C31 truck has been performing beautifully under Blake’s skilled engineering. The truck will float back to the mainland next week as Blake heads home for some well-deserved rest.
Chris Golden is back in action at the ChampionsGate golf course in Davenport, Florida, for GC News’s Morning drive in the wee hours Monday morning. From there Chris heads to Naples for the QBE Shootout, which is our last golf tournament of the year. What a run it’s been for us and our partners at Golf Channel in 2017!
You’d better believe there’s college football on our schedule — it’s championship weekend! Dennis Smith and Mike Sheehan are at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana, for seventh annual Big Ten Championship football game this Saturday. East Division champions, the Ohio State Buckeyes (10-2), will be facing the undefeated West Division champions, the No. 4 Wisconsin Badgers (12-0). The winner of this game takes home the Amos Alonzo Stagg championship trophy and a chance to head to one of the six college bowl games that make up the College Football Playoff games. Mike’s there for Fox’s broadcast of the big game, while Dennis will have all the press conferences and backup game feeds running through his truck.
There’s another big showdown in Texas, where John May and CK48 are set up at AT&T Stadium for the Big 12 Championship. The No. 10 TCU Horned Frogs take on the No. 2 Oklahoma Sooners, and whoever wins this game will earn a place in one of the four non-playoff New Year’s Six bowl games. It’s been a great run for John on the big old CK48 truck, covering college football from Texas to Iowa this season. He’ll have a week or so before the bowl season kicks off.
C12 with Rick Ball and C24 with Steve Toth will both be in Atlanta on Saturday for the Southeastern Conference (SEC) Championship game, where the No. 6 Georgia Bulldogs will take on the No. 2 Auburn Tigers. This will be the first time the SEC Championship will be played at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, and Rick and Steve are well underway with their preparation. Rick’s handling the CBS broadcast Saturday afternoon, while Steve is managing all things SEC Nation for our friends at ESPN. PSSI News Group’s Lorenzo Dottori is also there for CNN’s coverage of all the hoopla surrounding the big game. It’s going to be a barn burner down in Georgia!
It’s a smaller game but a big transmission in Jonesboro, Arkansas, on Saturday, where Kevin Spangler and C49 will provide a 10-channel at-home transmission for ESPN’s broadcast of the big Sun Belt Conference matchup between Troy and Arkansas State.
Marty Smitherman and Justin Roszak are handling a 10-channel transmission of their own down at Florida Atlantic University Stadium, where the Owls host the North Texas Mean Green. This will be the third 10-path Ku-band transmission that PSSI Global Services has provided for ESPN, and it is a good sign of things to come as basketball season starts in earnest this winter.
Of course, sports coverage isn’t all we’ve been up to. Shelby Schmidt at PIT Studio and our team at the teleport have had a busy week, as well. Shelby managed live shots for Fox Business News, MSNBC, Eurovision, CNN, Discovery Channel Canada, C-Span, CBC and MLB Network in the studio, along with a couple of corporate videoconferences!