Well, this week didn’t exactly end up as we expected it would. Like everyone else in our industry, PSSI Global Services is facing an unprecedented amount of event cancellations as the country struggles to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. At a time when so many are reluctant or unable to travel, PSSI Global Services has the personnel and facilities in place to help deliver vital content to broadcasters, the business community, and viewers around the world.
We remain at the ready for news and live events with C-band and Ku-band transmission vehicles stationed throughout the country. Our seasoned engineering staff is healthy, and our trucks are cleaned, inventoried, and poised to deploy from every major city in the country without the risk of flight cancellations. Our team at the PSSI International Teleport continues to work around the clock, with employees following expanded sanitation protocols to ensure their safety and good health. PIT has full time connectivity to the world via multiple fiber providers, satellite, and IP platforms. Our live insert studio in downtown Pittsburgh, the PSSI VideoTech Center, is working around the clock with Pittsburgh’s many pandemic experts providing their insight to news outlets around the world. Our team at PVTC can also provide extensive videoconferencing services for remote meetings, depositions, and other kinds of vital day-to-day business activities that will be challenging to manage in person for the days and weeks to come.
We still have a few key events going on this weekend, and we’re grateful for those! UFC veterans Jim Flowers and Garrett Hunt are working again with our friends at Casablanca Online and Concom for the worldwide distribution of UFC Fight Night live from the Ginásio Nilson Nelson in Brasília, Brazil on Saturday. Kevin Lee will take on Charles Oliveira in the co-main event, with Demian Maia and Gilbert Burns squaring off in the other. Our guys are all set for the weigh-in, prelims, main event, and the post-event press conferences, with the PSSI International Teleport playing an integral role in the event’s domestic and international distribution. Safe travels back, Jim and Garrett!
Our friends at WWE are continuing to provide their great content, and we are happy to be by their side for a special edition of Friday Night SmackDown in Orlando, FL. Big thanks to Nick Ray who had to change a few plane tickets to get himself down to WWE’s Performance Center, where the show will go on without a full crowd. Mike Howley is also there with a second truck for domestic feeds, and PSSI International Teleport will be keeping an eye on things, as usual. No official word on Monday Night RAW and the upcoming WWE events, but we remain at the ready for our friends and partners at WWE.
One implication of nationwide travel limitations is an uptick of remote inserts into live programming. Strategic Television project manager, Eric Hall, is working with Chris Hovden and Mark Huss to provide some live remote content into the next America’s Funniest Home Videos episode. Our crew there will be receiving inbound feeds via satellite and LiveU, another tool in our ever-expanding toolkit.
Senior engineer, Rick Kolinek, is at the Grand Casino in Hinckley, MN for Showtime’s Grand Friday Night Fights. The Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe Department of Athletic Regulation approved the event without spectators, so boxing fans around the world can watch the bout between Brandun Lee and Camila Prieto along with a full evening of undercard fights.
We’re looking forward to the days and weeks ahead as all of our valued customers work through the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. As with the rest of the country, our first focus will be on the safety and well-being of our employees and customers while we continue to remain at the ready to deliver content and connectivity around the world. Be safe out there, and tune in next week!