We’re coming up on yet another big weekend chock full of live sports and entertainment events, from coast to coast and across an ocean!
Let’s start in sunny California, where we’re capping off another great awards season. Project manager Garrett Hunt is working alongside engineers Wes Hill and John Jennings on the beach in Santa Monica, where our team is back at the Film Independent Spirit Awards yet again. Wes and John will provide C-band and Ku-band transmissions for this exciting event, which airs live on IFC Saturday night. Aubrey Plaza will host this year’s ceremony, which will celebrate the best work in independent film this past year.
Then on Sunday there’s another awards show you might have heard of: the Oscars, live on ABC! It is hard to imagine an Oscars weekend without Brian Blomstrom and the CK35 mobile teleport. Brian has the truck parked and powered just outside the Dolby Theater in Hollywood, and he will work with the industry’s top production crews to test and perfect the broadcast before going live on Sunday afternoon with the 91st Academy Awards. Project manager Logan Schinto is back again, as well, to lend a hand to Brian and also monitor the press pool feeds of the Governors’ Ball and Red Carpet action, for which Logan has arranged the transmission routing. After the show, Brian will get a few hours of sleep before getting back in CK35 for the annual Live with Kelly and Ryan Oscars after-party show on ABC Monday morning. And let’s not forget our PSSI News Group engineers! Bob Tweed and David Conwell will be in Hollywood all weekend, too, providing CNN with live shots of all the Oscars action.
We’re also back on the Red Carpet on behalf of Turner Latin America, providing production and transmission services for a full day’s worth of satellite media tours, live from Hollywood Boulevard. Mark Huss, Jose Sanchez, and project manager Eric Storlie have been up since the wee hours Friday morning providing live shot after live shot for our friends at Turner. Our guys will have earned a good night’s sleep after this marathon day!
It’s a well-oiled machine down in Hollywood, and we are proud to be an integral part of the action every year.
We have a few more events in California this weekend, as well. Larry Sheets is setting up the LA Sprinter at Florentine Gardens in El Monte for Friday night’s Combat Jiu Jitsu Worlds event. Project manager Garrett Hunt has arranged the international distribution of all the fighting action for Jiu Jitsu fans around the globe.
A little bit further south, Steve Chaisson will be working Sunday’s AAF game between the San Diego Fleet and the San Antonio Commanders. Steve’s providing an at-home transmission that will be ingested at the PSSI International Teleport and fibered over the AT&T Global Video Services network to our stack of decoders at Sneaky Big Studios in Scottsdale, AZ, where the show will be produced. Paul Blomstrom’s there in Scottsdale to ensure everything goes well on the receive side.
It’s much the same setup for Saturday’s game between the Salt Lake Stallions and the Arizona Hotshots. Senior engineers Rick Ball and Todd Harvey will also be providing a multiplexed at-home transmission of the game, with routing via PIT to Sneaky Big. Our engineers at PIT will also be working with Rick and Todd to provide IP bandwidth via satellite so that the production team in Salt Lake can communicate with the crew in Scottsdale. There again Paul Blomstrom will be in touch with our team at PIT and SLC to ensure everything’s hunky dory.
Still more AAF: Justin Roszak is all set up and ready to go at Spectrum Stadium in Orlando, Florida, where the Orlando Apollos will host the Memphis Express on Saturday afternoon.
As if that weren’t enough, John Bright is also back at Sneaky Big Studios in our K34 production/uplink hybrid truck, where he is the EIC of the remote productions for all of the pre-game and halftime shows of this weekend’s AAF games. John will also transmit backup paths of a couple of games out of K34’s antenna. It’s no easy feat to start a pro football league from scratch, but we are proud of our work with AT&T, Sneaky Big Studios, and the AAF to help this exciting new league find its way to screens around the world.
PSSI International Teleport keeps getting busier and busier as our team there supports our efforts in the field. Also on the PIT schedule this week (and every week for quite awhile): NASCAR. Kyle Meyer and Ben Bradshaw are in the C27 mobile teleport at Atlanta Motor Speedway this week providing extensive transmission services via fiber and satellite. The week culminates in Sunday’s Folds of Honor Quiktrip 500, but we have a host of truck races, satellite media tours, and other events that leave the track and run through PIT on their way to racing fans worldwide.
Still more action at PIT this weekend as they serve as the North American anchor gateway for UFC Fight Night 145 from Prague, Czech Republic on Saturday. Jim Flowers and Keith Valeri have been setting at Prague’s O2 Arena with our partners at Line Up Media Communications. After a successful weigh-in on Friday, all eyes will be on the undercards leading up to the main event between Jan Blachowicz and Thiago Santos on Saturday evening for more UFC on ESPN+.
Oddly enough, we’re at another O2 arena in Europe this weekend. Project manager Victor Verno is in London for Showtime Championship Boxing, live on Saturday night. British rivals James DeGale and Chris Eubank, Jr. will square off in the main event, but all the undercards leading up to the fight will make their way back to Showtime headquarters in the States via redundant fiber and satellite transmission paths that Victor will manage. Project manager Michael Hollander will also remotely manage the international distribution of the fight with some help from PIT.
Back in the USA, we have another Premier Boxing Champions event on our schedules. Rick Kolinek will make his way to the Armory on South 6th Street in Minneapolis, MN for Saturday night’s bout featuring Anthony Dirrell versus Avni Yildirim. Project manager Michael Hollander won’t be there in person, but will ensure Rick’s feed makes its way to Europe via the PSSI International Teleport. Michael has a busy weekend of remote project management!
That’s it for fighting and football this weekend, but we haven’t even gotten to the hoops yet!
Rick Varney will be up early on Saturday to provide Fox with the satellite transmission of the big game between Marquette and Providence on Saturday, live from the Dunkin’ Donuts Center in Providence, RI.
Mike Howley’s a little further south for Fox, as he’ll be at the helm of the CK25 for Sunday’s game between St. John’s and the Georgetown Hoyas, live from McDonough Arena.
Plenty of games on CBS Sports Network this weekend, and that’s how we like it!
Steve Hagerty’s at Savage Arena in Toledo, OH for a Saturday evening game between Northern Illinois University and the Toledo Rockets.
Not too far down the road from Steve, Dave Mitchell has a doubleheader. On Friday he’s in Athens, OH for the matchup between the Bowling Green Falcons and the Ohio Bobcats. From there Mitch heads back to his second home in Morgantown, WV, for WVU women’s basketball on Saturday. The Lady Mountaineers host the Oklahoma Sooners.
Dennis Smith is at Colgate in Hamilton, NY for some Patriot League hoops on Saturday. The Navy Midshipmen are in town to take on the Raiders, and Dennis will be there for all the action on Cotterell Court.
Dave Buckman has a rare weekend off, but he heads down to Richmond, VA on Monday for Tuesday’s matchup between the Richmond Spiders and the LaSalle Explorers.
That’s a lot of basketball! It’ll stay that way well into April, where we’ll finish up the season at the Final Four in Minneapolis. More on that big time event in roundups to come!
Still not all! We’re getting back into the swing with CONCACAF, for whom we are excited to provide exclusive satellite transmission services over the next couple of years. Our first match of the CONCACAF Champions League was on Thursday night at Childrens Mercy Park in Kansas City, MO, where John May and the C21 transmitted the game between Sporting KC and Toluca. John will be at the next game in Houston on Tuesday, where the Houston Dynamo will host Guastatoya at BBVA Compass Stadium.
We’re back at ProCaps Laboratories in Henderson, NV, where Joe Cox will spend the weekend providing transmission services for HSN’s broadcast of ProCaps Live through Monday.
It’s time for some baseball! Steve Toth, fresh off a frigid stint in northern Minnesota, will enjoy a more temperate assignment at the Ballpark of the Palm Beaches on Saturday, where the Houston Astros will take on the Washington Nationals on Saturday. More games from Arizona and Florida to come over the next few weeks.
Not too far from the baseball stadium, Chris Golden will be setting up for a week’s worth of transmissions for Golf Channel at the Honda Classic, live from PGA National Resort & Spa in Palm Beach Gardens, FL.
And, last but not least, and a wee bit further south, Craig Henry and Abi Falcon are rounding out a great week of transmission services for Golf Channel at the Puerto Rico Open. The Coco Beach Golf & Country Club is a pretty nice place to spend a week, so let’s hope Craig and Abi find their way back to the mainland after this weekend!
An extra big thanks to our teams in the field, in the offices, and in our shops, who keep the wheels turning. The fun never stops!