PSSI Global Services wishes all of our friends and family a safe and happy Memorial Day weekend, and we honor all who have given their lives for our great country.
Of course we have a lot of folks working on this holiday weekend. Special thanks to all you guys on the road and away from home as you provide the world with live entertainment!
Project Manager Garrett Hunt and Senior Engineer Tracy Michaels win this weekend’s award for being the farthest from home. The guys are working alongside our friends from Links Broadcast in beautiful Liverpool, United Kingdom, for UFC Fight Night live from Echo Arena on Sunday. The main event features Stephen Thompson versus Darren Till, but our crew will be there for the weigh-in, undercards and all associated programming.
Earlier in the week, back in the States, our NE-based UFC crew traveled up to
Maine on a last-second call for an interview with UFC’s Dana White. Marc Sarazin handled the camera and lighting while Mike Lemieux did the uplink. Senior Project Manager Keith Valeri was on hand to assist, and senior engineer made himself useful as a stand-in for Mr. White so Marc could get the lighting just right. UFC has closed a big deal with ESPN, and we are very happy to be able to provide our services to both customers for years to come.
It’s a busy weekend for Dave Buckman. He will head to Royal Farms Arena (formerly Baltimore Arena) in Baltimore, Maryland on Friday for Arena Football when the Philadelphia Soul (3-2) face the Baltimore Brigade (4-2).
Then Dave heads to Washington, District of Columbia, to the Capitol building for the 2018 National Memorial Day Concert on Sunday evening. This annual event combines uplifting music with dramatic readings and documentary footage to honor the men and women who have served in the military and their families. Some of the performers expected include Gary Sinise and the Lt. Dan Band, Mary McCormack, Ret. General Colin L. Powell, Graham Greene, Charles Esten, Spensha Baker, Brian Tee, Jack Everly, Leona Lewis, Cynthia Erivo, John Corbett and Alfie Boe, as well as the National Symphony Orchestra, Military District of Washington, US Army Herald Trumpets, US Army Chorus and Army Voices, US Naval Band Sea Chanters, US Air Force Singing Sergeants, and the Soldiers’ Chorus. It’s easy to see why it’s such a popular event, and it’s one that Dave does every single year!
Kevin Spangler is in Benton Harbor, Michigan at the Golf Club at Harbor Shores this week for the 79th Senior PGA Kitchen-Aide Championship. This Senior PGA Championship event has a total purse of $3,250,000 with the top 70 finishes earning a portion of that. Kevin’s been putting in some long hours for our friends at Golf Channel and NBC, and will have earned some leisure time by the pool on Memorial Day!
Speaking of long hours, Craig Henry continues for a second week at Karsten Creek Golf Club in Stillwater, Oklahoma, home of Oklahoma State University Golf programs, with C49 for the 2018 NCAA Division I Men’s Golf Championship this week. Qualifying play will start on Thursday with the Finals, consisting of teams’ match play concluding on Wednesday of next week. He just finished the Women’s tournament last week. That’s a lot of time spent in Oklahoma, a long way from home in Asheville, North Carolina. Thanks, Craig!
Todd Harvey is getting into the golf swing with the C43 truck at the Travis Pointe Country Club in Ann Arbor, Michigan for the third LPGA Volvik Championship where women golfers compete for a total purse of $1.3 million.
LA-based Chris Hovden is on the road, too. But earlier in the week he was right here at home at the brand new Banc of California Stadium in Los Angeles on Tuesday with the Atlas truck for soccer when the Los Angeles Football Club faced the Bundesliga club Borussia Dortmund. The action-packed match ended in a 1-1 draw. It was a great opportunity for us to get a feel for the stadium and its TV compound. We’re looking forward to working there again soon!
As we were saying, Chris is on the road this weekend. He’s setting up a multiplexed transmission at Hayward Field at the University of Oregon in Eugene, Oregon, for Saturday’s IAAF Diamond League competition. The Diamond League, started in 2010, is a series of elite track and field athletic competitions in 32 different disciplines or categories. Athletes compete for points during the qualifying events to compete in the final event of their specific discipline. We’ve done this event the last couple of years for our friends at Mobile Links in Sweden, and we’re happy to be back!
More soccer for us: on Saturday Rick Kolinek will head back to TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis for more MLS Soccer when the Montreal Impact face the FC Minneapolis.
Mike Howley’s in Chester, Pennsylvania at Talen Energy Stadium where the US Men’s National Team takes on Bolivia in a friendly game that will air on Fox Sports 1.
We are also pleased to announce that we have the first of many uplinks for our friends at the Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) under our belt. Chris Golden and the C31 truck were at Pullman Miami Airport Hotel in Miami, Florida, on Wednesday when the CONCACAF held the official draw of the 2018 Scotiabank CONCACAF League, featuring club teams from Central American and Caribbean member associations. We are very much looking forward to our partnership with CONCACAF for years ahead.
Speaking of long-term relationships, we’re working with NASCAR again this weekend. Ben Bradshaw and Kyle Meyer are on-site with the C27 truck at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, North Carolina this week for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Coca-Cola 600. Before the big race begins on Sunday, there will be a pre-race concert by the Eli Young Band and a “Salute to our Troops” ceremony, with special guests from each branch of the U.S. Military.
And don’t forget about WWE! Nick Ray was at Times Union Center in Albany, New York on Monday with the CK30 for WWE RAW when Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins defeated Jinder Mahal and Kevin Owens, Ember Moon defeated Alexa Bliss, Baron Corbin defeated No Way Jose, Breezango was defeated by The B-Team, Dolph Ziggler defeated Chad Gable, Elias defeated Bobby Roode, Braun Strowman defeated Finn Balor, and Natalya defeated Dana Brooke, Sarah Logan and Liv Morgan. Nick’s back at the helm of the CK30 mobile teleport in Richmond and Raleigh this coming Monday and Tuesday.
It’s going to be busy in Las Vegas this week as the Las Vegas Golden Knights, in their very first season in the NHL, host the 2018 Stanley Cup Finals. Ray Loyko will be with the K33 truck in Las Vegas as the Knights face the Washington Capitals. Neither team has ever been in the Stanley Cup – what a story!
Also in Vegas, Joe Cox will be at the Mandalay Bay Events Center with the Wolfcoach truck for WNBA action when the Las Vegas Aces take on the Seattle Storm in their home opener. Along with Kolinek’s soccer game in Minnesota, Joe’s transmission will be downlinked at the PIT teleport for distribution across AT&T Global Video Service network.
Rick Ball, Paul Blomstrom and Nathan Holsey will all be in Fresno, California, on Saturday at the Save-Mart Center with the K19 truck for ESPN Boxing when Jerwin Ancajas defends his IBF junior bantamweight title against Jonas Sultan and Khalid Yafai defends his WBA Junior bantamweight title against David Carmona. Some of the other matches on the fight card Saturday include Alexander Besputin facing off against Saul Corral, Bryan Lua fighting Francisco Camacho, Piotr Apostol facing Carlos Castillo and more! We’re handling some production for the undercards as well as providing ESPN with a multiplexed transmission. This is the first of many fights for which we will be providing extensive production and transmission services for our friends at ESPN, who are always pushing the envelope with us to find new broadcast solutions.
Last but not least, we are watching the NBA Finals closely and making preparations to be in Houston or Oakland for our friends at NBA-TV. EIC Mark Huss is prepping a couple of trucks and those of us in the office are making contingency plans to be in either city should the Warriors or the Rockets be victorious over the next couple of games. Never a dull moment during the playoffs!