We hope everyone had a safe and happy 4th of July with their friends and families. And another special thanks to our team for working through the holiday.
Our UFC crew was among those working on the holiday. EIC Tracy Michaels, project managers Garrett Hunt and Keith Valeri, engineers Jim Flowers, Paul Blomstrom, Brian Blomstrom and Ray Loyko, and ringside commentary guru Mark Huss — all these guys have been working their tails off in extreme heat to bring UFC Fight Week to MMA fans around the world. So far the team has pulled off a satellite media tour for Saturday’s PPV, press conferences, weigh-ins for both The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) Finale and UFC 226, testing for both events, and the UFC Hall of Fame show. The TUF Finale is Friday night at The Palms, and the main event is Saturday night at the T-Mobile Arena. For all shows, we are managing diverse paths via fiber and satellite — including a 4K broadcast — for delivery to UFC fans all over the planet, on every type of screen imaginable. This is a series of events that only our team could pull off, and all our guys will have earned a quiet Sunday after it’s all said and done.
Just up the road from our UFC team, Joe Cox has been taking care of business for the last few days at the US Darts Masters Tournament, live at Mandalay Bay. Joe’s signal is going to rabid darts fans in Europe, and he’ll be working through the weekend, as well.
We’re still well represented north of the border. Steve Hagerty continues his marathon run of cricket coverage. He’s going to the Maple Leaf Cricket Club just about every day for
the Global T20 Canada Cricket League Tournament. Cricket fans in India are delighted with Steve’s work, and they haven’t missed a second of the action. Hang in there, Steve!
A few kilometers down the road we have Justin Roszak and Steve Chaisson at the Canadian Tire Motorsport Park for NASCAR’s IMSA race. We have two large aperture trucks side-by-side transmitting an extraordinary amount of data via satellite. To top it off, the phones at the venue gave production some trouble, so we’re now providing phones and data via satellite for the entire compound. PSSI Global Services can provide so much more than uplinks, and almost always at a moment’s notice!
Another multi-truck show down in Kennesaw, Georgia, where we continue our work with the Switch and NFL Network to provide transmission services for this weekend’s American Flag Football League action. Steve Toth is in C23 and Marty Smitherman is next to him in K38 for redundant paths out of the Fifth Third Bank Stadium. Next week is Indianapolis, Indiana, for more flag football fun!
Mati Kerpen had a great show at Coney Island on the 4th for yet another Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest. Joey Chestnut pulled it off again, and Mati transmitted every bite via a 2-channel multiplexed transmission to ESPN. Mati continued his holiday run alongside Marc Sarazin for a live interview with HBO’s CEO on Thursday morning. With a final destination of Marseille, France, the shot was delayed while the entire country (and most of the world) watched France beat Uruguay to advance to the next round in the World Cup.
It’s a busy weekend down in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where EIC Mike Lemieux and project manager are working with engineers John May and Ron Ford to bring a live Bill Maher comedy special to HBO subscribers on Saturday night. We have two trucks setting up and testing outside the historic Brady Theater for what is sure to be a night full of laughs and probably more than a few cringes.
NASCAR’s back at the Daytona International Speedway, and of course PSSI is there, as well. This week it’s Kyle Meyer and Jonathan Ayala at the helm of the C27 mobile teleport to provide NASCAR with extensive fiber services via AT&T’s global video services network. The satellite antennas are up and running as well to ensure that NBC and racing fans around the world get all the action, culminating in Saturday’s Coke Zero Sugar 400.
And of course we are golfing.
Blake Blomstrom has the C49 truck at Thornberry Creek at Oneida, in Oneida, Wisconsin for the Thornberry Classic through Sunday. The truck rests in Milwaukee for a day before Kevin Spangler flies in to take her to the next tournament.
Chris Golden’s in the Frontline at the Greenbrier Resort for yet another Greenbrier Classic. It’s a great event at a beautiful course, and Chris is doing great work. From there, the truck moves up to Ohio for yet another tournament just a few days later.
Mike Howley spent his 4th at the Peek’n Peak Resort in Findley Lake, New York. Here the LECOM Health Challenge continues through Sunday, at which point Howley can take a well-deserved rest before his next assignment.
Nick Ray’s continuing his work with WWE. He’ll be in CK30 Sunday, Monday and Tuesday night doing a combination of our “regular” RAW and SmackDown transmissions
along with some testing for new transmission schemes for WWE’s future broadcasts. WWE is a demanding client, always pushing the envelope, and we are proud to be their partners as they continue to set the standard for broadcast technologies. More to come soon!
A couple more repeat shows to round out the weekend.
John Bright and Rick Ball are back at the Save Mart Center in Fresno, California, for another boxing production to air on ESPN+. This time the guys are in the K34 production/uplink unit providing the international production and transmission services for Ramirez vs. Connor, live on Saturday night.
And we’re boxing again down at the Belasco Theater in Downtown Los Angeles for LA Fight Club. It’s well over a hundred degrees, but Chris Hovden is handling the heat just fine in our compact LA Sprinter.
Larry Sheets and Wes Hill will also have to battle the heat tomorrow in LA at the brand new Banc of California Stadium. Orlando City SC is in town to take on LAFC in some exciting MLS action. The start time of the game was pushed back to the evening due to temps well over 100 degrees. Of course production and transmission will be setting up and testing during the hottest part of the day, but our guys will stay safe and hydrated to make sure the broadcast is a success.
Stay cool out there!