It’s a big weekend for big events all over the world.
We have three big international shows on our schedules this weekend.
Let’s start down in La Paz, Mexico, where Mike Lemieux has been testing with our friends at Fox for the past week as we are providing live, redundant transmission pathways for Fox’s exciting new reality show, Paradise Hotel. Thursday night was the first live broadcast, and we’re happy to say everything went off without a hitch! Poor Mike has to spend the rest of May and a little bit of June on this absolutely grueling assignment. Hang in there, Mike!
WWE is back across the pond for more shows in London. Strategic Television project manager Logan Schinto has been doing what he usually does – developing enormous transmission overviews for WWE’s complex worldwide distribution – but it’s a little trickier when originating from Europe. Thankfully we are working with our trusted partners at Links Broadcast in the UK to make things go smoothly, and WWE engineer Zane Michaels is there to make sure every signal is encoded and encrypted exactly as we do it in the States. It’s Monday night RAW and Tuesday night Smackdown, live from the O2 Arena in London next week. We have boots on the ground and will begin extensive testing over the weekend, with PSSI International Teleport right in the middle of domestic transmission and turnaround services.
We are also fortunate to have trusted partners in Brazil, as we have another UFC pay-per-view originating in Rio de Janeiro over the weekend. It’s UFC 237, live from Rio’s Jeunesse Arena, and our dear friends at Casablanca Online are just excited about the event as we are. Project manager Garrett Hunt has joined forces with senior engineers Rick Varney and Jim Flowers to provide the worldwide distribution of the PPV, which will feature Rose Namajuna versus Jessica Andrade in the main event, with great fights between Jared Cannonier and Anderson Silva as well as Brazilian legend Jose Aldo versus Alexander Volkanovski. Casablanca Online’s CTO Alex Pimentel has assembled a great engineering crew along with multiple antennas and extensive equipment to support Rick and Jim as we deliver this fight to screens around the world, with PIT as an integral hub for distribution across North America.
While we’re talking about big shows, it’s time again for the Amgen Tour of California, and our cycling team is up in Sacramento getting ready to kick things off on Sunday. Tracy Michaels is tech managing the entire show this year, a monumental task that includes parking a new TV compound every night for each stage across the great state of California. We’ll have two transmission vehicles for the duration of the event. The K34 will be the production truck for the international feed, with Eric Hall coordinating the host feeds and working with the international crew to provide an uninterrupted broadcast for European racing fans. John Bright is the EIC on K34, with Wes Hill and Mike Sheehan sharing transmission duties. Wes and Mike will also be rotating shifts on the LA Sprinter, which will provide data and comms for the entire compound via a 2-way IP circuit with PSSI International Teleport. This will come in particularly handy in Stage 6, where the TV compound is parked atop Mount Baldy, where there’s no phone orinternet service to be found. We will also have relay satellite trucks at various points throughout the race to complement the extensive RF work being done via airplane and motorcycle. Tracy and Eric have been working closely for months with vendors and race veterans from the Tour de France to plan for what is one of the most complex live sporting events in television. More to come next week as our team travels across California to keep up with the world’s top cyclists.
We’ve got a lot going on at the Kansas Speedway this week, culminating with the Monster Energy Cup Series Digital Ally 400 race on Saturday. Following the rain delay in Dover, driver Jerry Gore had to hustle the C27 mobile teleport to Kansas City. There Jonathan Ayala and Kyle Meyer have been set up all week providing NASCAR with data and video transmission via AT&T Global Video Services fiber as well as satellite transmission services. Parked next to the C27 is John May and the CK48. Rick Ball’s in town, as well, to get the truck ready for Fox’s 4K broadcast of the big race.
Rick flies forward to Atlanta for more Fox sports action: he’ll at Mercedes-Benz Stadium for Sunday’s MLS game between the Orlando City Soccer Club and the Atlanta United FC.
Not too far down the road from Rick, Kevin Spangler will be wrapping up his work at the Greystone Golf & Country Club in Birmingham, AL on Sunday. It’s the Regions Tradition Tournament, which features 78 of the top PGA Tour Champions players and World Golf Hall of Fame members.
Speaking of golf, we are also getting fired up for the PGA Championship in Bethpage, NY. Blake Blomstrom and Chris Golden will rotate shifts for a full week for all of Golf Channel’s coverage of this Major. PSSI News Group engineer Chris Stewart will be there, as well, for all of CNN’s live coverage of the event.
We have a couple of at-home transmissions for a friends at ESPN happening this weekend.
Nick Ray and the C42 truck will be at the University of Virginia’s Klockner Stadium in Charlottesville on Saturday for NCAA Lacrosse when the Virginia Cavaliers take on the Robert Morris University Colonials. Nick’s multiplexing seven videos back to ESPN headquarters in Connecticut, where they will produce the show for broadcast.
Justin Roszak and Dennis Smith will be doing a 7-channel at-home transmission of their own at Panzer Stadium in State College, PA this weekend. It’s the first round of the NCAA D1 lacrosse championships, and our guys are looking forward to the challenge.
As usual, we’ve got a lot of fighting on our schedule. Let’s start with a new series that we’re excited to be a part of. Mati Kerpen and project manager Keith Valeri were at the Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, NY on Thursday night to kick off the 2019 regular season of the Professional Fighters League, an exciting MMA product that will air domestically on the ESPN networks. This is the first of several events for which we are providing origination transmission services, international distribution coordination, and streaming services to multiple platforms via our newly upgraded encoders at the PSSI International Teleport. The PFL team was excited to see what PSSI/Strategic Television can offer beyond a basic uplink, and we are all excited to start this journey together!
More PBC on Fox action this weekend, as well. Steve Hagerty’s setting up the CK25 mobile teleport at EagleBank Arena in Fairfax, VA to provide the domestic transmission for Saturday’s Premier Boxing Champions Fight Night. Unified Super Welterweight World Champion “Swift” Jarrett Hurd defends his IFB and WBA 150-lb titles against top ranking Julian “J-Rock” Williams in the main event. Dave Buckman is working alongside Steve to provide the international feed for Haymon Boxing, and Strategic Television project manager Michael Hollander has arranged with PIT to manage the worldwide distribution of all the boxing action.
We’ve also got some Showtime Shobox action here in California. John Jennings is in Corona, CA for Friday night’s bout featuring rising stars Ruben Villa, Michael Dutchover, and Saul Sanchez.
Last, but never least, the CK35 mobile teleport is back in action. Brian Blomstrom is meeting up with Larry Sheets at the Tucson Convention Center this weekend for Top Rank Boxing on ESPN. It’s a rematch of Berchelt versus Vargas for the wBC World Super Featherweight championship, with a lot of exciting undercards on ESPN+ and worldwide. Strategic Television project manager David Gallardo is also on hand to ensure that the Top Rank’s international program makes its way to boxing fans around the world.