It’s 2020, and we are live! Thanks again to all of our customers for making 2019 one of our busiest years to date. We’re keeping the momentum going in the new year with some exciting projects across the country and beyond.
Let’s start with David Meyer, who drew the short straw on the schedule this week. To be fair, David spent a few days in Hawaii working a Bellator event before Christmas, so hopefully that helps balance out this weekend’s assignment. David’s in Nipawin, Saskatchewan today where it’s not one, not two, but twenty-two degrees below zero. There’s some big-time Canadian Junior hockey going on inside Nipawin’s Centennial Arena, and just outside David is working his tail off to get his antenna on the satellite for tonight’s broadcast. Everything’s frozen, including David, but he’s doing everything he can to ensure a good, clean show. From Nipawin, he heads toward Calgary and up into the Canadian Rockies for skiing next week. We’re hoping these record lows improve, to say the least. And special, heartfelt thanks to David for enduring these ridiculous conditions.
Might as well go back to Hawaii to warm up. There we have Craig Henry finishing up his second week of golf coverage for our friends at Golf Channel. He’s at the Sony Open, live from Waialae Country Club, where tournament play concludes on Sunday. From there our truck and antenna float to Kona, and Mike Sheehan – another guy who is accustomed to getting it done in icy cold conditions – will set up at Hualalai Golf Club for the Mitsubishi Electric Championship next week.
In the middle of another ocean, we’ve got another big tournament in an exotic location. Kevin Spangler’s at Sandals Emerald Bay Golf, Tennis, and Spa in Great Exuma, Bahamas, where the Great Exuma Classic continues play into next week. Not a bad place to be, to say the least!
OK, back to the mainland. It’s awards show season, which means our engineers and project managers in Los Angeles are keeping plenty busy. This weekend is the 2020 Critics’ Choice Awards, live from Barker Hangar at the Santa Monica Airport on Sunday. Wes Hill and Chris Hovden will be rubbing elbows with some big stars this weekend, and their satellite and fiber encoding services will ensure the rest of the world gets to see the show. Presenters include Seth Meyers, John Lithgow, Kelly Clarkson, and Lupita Nyong’o, all honoring the best in cinematic and television achievement.
Meanwhile, Mark Huss, John Jennings, and project manager, Eric Storlie, will be preparing for the early morning announcements of all the Academy Awards nominees on Monday. We’ll have two trucks parked outside the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures on Wilshire Boulevard, and we’re all excited to see who will be up for cinema’s biggest awards show. And of course we’ll be there for the Oscars ceremony in February, too!
More entertainment action in LA. It’s time for the Television Critics Association’s 2020 Winter Press Tour, which previews all the new shows and series on the docket for this year. We’ll be providing multiple downlink services at the Langham Hotel in Pasadena this week and next, and project manager, Eric Hall, is coordinating a couple of remote productions from Japan that will find their way to Pasadena, as well. It’s one of the biggest TV events of the year, and we’re always excited to be a part of the fun.
While it’s not quite as glamorous as all of these TV and movie events, local college basketball is keeping us busy in California, too. John Jennings is heading to Loyola Marymount’s Gersten Pavilion, where the Lions will host the Gonzaga Bulldogs Saturday afternoon.
Before we leave LA, here’s a quick shout-out to Strategic Television’s VP, Jason Land, who came to our office in Van Nuys for some vendor and customer meetings, as well as the first project management meeting of 2020. We’re all on our best behavior when Jason is town to keep us on task!
Next let’s head east on I-10 to Scottsdale, AZ. Brian Blomstrom is taking the CK35 mobile teleport to WestWorld of Scottsdale, where he will be providing extensive transmission services for the 2020 Barrett-Jackson Car Auction. We are very pleased to be collaborating with our friends at Kavis Productions on this exciting, unique event, which will feature some of the finest collector cars in the world on the auction block, all the way through next weekend. Tune in!
East coast hoops are our bread and butter every winter, and Dennis Smith and Dave Buckman usually carry the lion’s share of the action. Mr. Buckman is heading to Richmond for Saturday’s game between the Spiders and VCU, live on CBS Sports Network. From there he’ll head to Loyola’s Reitz Arena, where Boston University will in town for a Monday night game.
After a little boxing in Atlantic City, Dennis Smith will head up to Fordham’s Rose Hill Gym in the Bronx for the game between Fordham and George Washington University on Sunday, also on CBS Sports Net. Plenty more hoops ahead of us, all the way to March Madness!
Our fighting schedules are ramping right back up after a brief holiday break. UFC will kick off in earnest with Conor McGregor’s return to the Octagon, but in the meantime we’re glad to be back on tour with our friends at DAZN, Top Rank, ESPN, Showtime, and WWE, all at the same time!
Let’s start with the Friday night fight in Atlantic City, where Blake Blomstrom and Dennis Smith will be providing C and Ku-band transmissions for Showtime Boxing Special Edition, live from the Ocean Casino Resort. Undisputed middleweight world champion, Claressa Shields, will take on Ivana Habazin for the vacant WBC and WBO 154-pound titles in the main event. Showtime project manager, Victor Verno, will be onsite as well to ensure a flawless transmission for boxing fans around the world.
The WWE train keeps on rolling, which is how we like it. Nick Ray is in Evansville, IN for Friday Night SmackDown on Fox. From there Joe Kelderhouse drives the CK30 mobile teleport to Lexington, KY for Monday Night RAW at Rupp Arena. Zane Michaels will be on hand for that show.
Ron “Roadrunner” Ford is getting all set up at the Alamodome in San Antonio, TX for Golden Boy and DAZN boxing on Saturday night. Jaime Munguia is taking on Gary “Spike” O’Sullivan in the main event, with a series of exciting undercards leading up to it.
Rick Varney’s our man in Atlantic City for Top Rank boxing on ESPN+. Rick’s got CK25 all set up at the Hard Rock in AC for a four-channel mux, including a 1080p encoded pathway for distribution to ESPN+. Jesse Hart will take on Joe Smith, Jr. in the main event on Saturday night, the first Top Rank on ESPN event of 2020. It’s going to be another great year of boxing for us!
Tune in next week to see what’s keeping us on our toes! Happy New Year, everyone!