Hard to believe we’re already heading into March – and March Madness. The winter is flying by!
Speaking of flying, our WWE team is on their way back from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia after an absolutely stellar performance in challenging conditions. Strategic Television project managers, Logan Schinto and Victor Verno, worked in lock-step with senior engineers Zane Michaels and Mike Lemieux to pull off a great show at the Mohammed Abdu Arena. All the action from the Super ShowDown – culminating in another Universal Championship for Goldberg – made its way to wrestling fans around the world thanks to their efforts. Here in the States, Nick Ray and Mike Howley had a truck at WWE headquarters in Stamford, CT to support the production team there. The PSSI International Teleport also played a key role in the show’s domestic and international distribution. It was truly a team effort, and a show that only the seasoned team at PSSI Live could pull off. Great job, everyone!
You didn’t think there would be a break after a pay-per-view event halfway around the world, did you? Not for our friends at WWE, and not for us! Nick and Mike are already set up and ready for Friday Night SmackDown at the TD Garden in Boston. Mike Howley will be back on the CK30 for Monday Night RAW at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, where Zane Michaels, fresh off a looooooong flight from Riyadh, will join him. After the show, driver Joe Kelderhouse will point the CK30 mobile teleport toward Buffalo as our week-in, week-out partnership with WWE continues unabated!
Staying with fighting, our UFC team is at Chartway Arena in Norfolk, VA for another UFC Fight Night on ESPN+, live on Saturday night. UFC mainstays Jim Flowers and Garrett Hunt are joined by senior engineer, Craig Henry, on the CK25 mobile teleport for a weekend full of MMA action alongside our friends at Concom. Joseph Benavidez will take on Deiveson Figueiredo in the main event, with a whole host of undercards preceding. The always-exciting weigh-in is on Friday afternoon, so our guys will be busy all weekend in beautiful Norfolk.
Let’s stay out East, where we are booked up and down the coast. Dennis Smith isn’t too far down the road in Richmond, VA, where VCU will host George Washington University on Saturday, one of several NCAA games on the docket this week.
Blake Blomstrom’s down in Murrells Inlet, SC – not a bad place to be, this time of year – for Golf Channel’s coverage of the Dustin Johnson World Junior Golf Championship, live from TPC of Myrtle Beach with play through Sunday.
And just down Highway 17, Steve Toth and Abi Falcon are all set up at the North Charleston Coliseum for a big old Trump Rally on Friday evening. This caps off a busy week in SC for us, with CBS’s debate in Charleston earlier in the week finishing up without a hitch. Super Tuesday’s just around the corner, so things are really just starting to heat up in South Carolina and around the country.
PSSI News Group has been plenty busy for our friends at CNN, as you might expect. Scott Garber, Bill O’Toole, Lorenzo Dottoria, and Charlie Neiswenter have been crisscrossing the Carolinas as the Democratic candidates ramp up their campaigns. All the News Group guys are ready to deploy at any minute with Super Tuesday looming.
Speaking of news, our crew at the PSSI Pittsburgh Videotech Center in downtown Pittsburgh has been working around the clock lately! Pittsburgh-based Dr. Amesh Adalja is a senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins University Center for Health Security, and one of the world’s foremost experts on infectious diseases. His expertise is in high demand as the coronavirus continues to spread across the world. Our team at the studio has been cranking out live shot after live shot with Dr. Adalja as all the major news networks depend on his expertise to inform their viewers about the disease.
Plenty more basketball on the schedule as we ease ourselves into March Madness. Kevin Spangler was at EA Diddle Arena in Bowling Green, KY, where the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers beat the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs in a high-scoring game on Thursday night.
Dave “Mitch” Mitchell is in Athens, OH for Friday night’s in-state matchup between Ohio University and Kent State, live on CBS Sports Network. He’s got a slew of Ohio hoops coming up on his truck.
Steve Hagerty’s got a nice back-to-backer in Upstate New York. On Saturday he’s at Colgate University’s Cotterell Court, where the Raiders will host the Army Black Nights. It’s an early game, so once Steve strikes his truck he’ll make the short drive over to Syracuse for Sunday’s game between the Orange and Boston College.
Rick Kolinek’s also in the college hoops mix. He will be at Carver Arena in Peoria, IL for the game between Bradley and Loyola on Saturday afternoon, also on CBS Sports Network.
All the way out West, Larry Sheets is heading to Reno for the game between the University of Nevada and San Diego State on Saturday, live from the Lawlor Events Center.
Another back-to-backer, these two in Texas for John May. He’s using the Ku-band dish on the CK48 for Friday’s game between UT Arlington and Texas State, live on ESPN from the College Park Center in Arlington, TX. He’s got a down day on Saturday before heading up to Denton, TX for the game between North Texas and Western Kentucky on Sunday afternoon.
Lots going on in Texas this weekend, which is why Wes Hill is in town. Wes is providing his uplink services at the Ford Center at the Star in Frisco, TX, where Jessie Vargas will square off against Mikey Garcia on Saturday night in another big fight for DAZN. Wes is working with ESPN Latin America for their unilateral coverage of the weigh-in on Friday. Then he’ll be with our friends at Aldea to provide a multi-path transmission for the fight itself. Mark Huss is in town, as well, to provide ringside commentary services for international broadcasters on Saturday. And, behind the scenes, Strategic Television project manager, Michael Hollander, has arranged with the PSSI International Teleport for a standalone commercial premises feed for our friends at DAZN across the pond. Like I said, lots going on!
We’re already boxing again in Vegas after the enormous success of the Fury v. Wilder II PPV at the MGM Grand last weekend. Brian Blomstrom’s getting set up at Sam’s Town Hotel & Gambling Hall for a Friday night bout on Showtime. Malik Hawkins takes on Keith Hunter in the main event, with a few exciting undercards leading up to it. Brian’s feeling kinda lonely compared to last week. One truck and one engineer this weekend; five trucks, seven engineers, and two project managers last weekend!
Joe Cox was part of that all-star crew, and this weekend he’s down in Tucson for the Cologuard Classic, live on Golf Channel. Joe has his truck at the Omni Tucson National course through Sunday if the weather holds.
It was an exciting week for soccer! Our friends at CONCACAF had us working across the country for their Champions League playoffs. John Jennings was at the Banc of America stadium in LA where LAFC lost to Leon. Kyle Meyer was at the Fifth Third Bank Stadium outside Atlanta where Atlanta United and FC Motagua finished with a draw. Ben Bradshaw had a truck at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, NJ for the matchup between NYC FC and AD San Carlos, with NYC victorious. And David Meyer was pretty stoked to be broadcasting his hometown Seattle Sounders versus CD Olimpi from CenturyLink Field on Thursday night. Another draw! We’re all looking forward to the quarterfinals in a couple of weeks!
Still more soccer over the weekend. Jonathan Ayala’s heading to Nissan Stadium in Nashville for the game between the Nashville SC and the Atlanta United, live on Fox Sports 1 on Saturday. Jonathan’s coming off some NBA hoops in Indianapolis earlier in the week.
And why not a little rugby? Our friends at Telstra have us at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, CA for the 5th round of the 2020 HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series. The LA Sevens is the largest rugby event in the US, featuring the 16 top men’s rugby sevens teams from around the globe. The US team is currently ranked #2 in the world, so the fans down in Carson should be pretty juiced for a solid weekend’s worth of rugby. Chris Hovden is there providing a multiplexed transmission over fiber into Telstra’s Global Media Network, while Strategic Television project manager, Keith Valeri, is there to ensure a clean show from site to rugby fans around the world. More news to come on our growing partnership with Telstra – stay tuned!
And last, but never least, it wouldn’t be a weekend without some racing. Rick Ball and Justin Roszak went straight to the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, CA from a successful weekend in Vegas to begin fiber transmission services for our friends at NASCAR early in the week. Steve Chaisson joins the crew this weekend for satellite transmissions, with all feeds in and out of the track making a stop at the PSSI International Teleport. All the week’s efforts will culminate in Sunday’s Auto Club 400 on Sunday, live on Fox and around the world.
And that brings us into March! Bring it on!