We often use the phrase “all hands on deck” at PSSI Global Services when we’re pulling together a busy week of services, but that phrase is particularly apt on this Veterans Day weekend. A small armada of our top engineers is assembling in Norfolk, Virginia, this weekend to provide a dynamic array of services.
It all starts at the Ted Constant Convocation Center in Norfolk, where Tracy Michaels, John Bright and project manager Keith Valeri are setting up CK25 for UFC Fight Night on Saturday night, live on FS1 and to viewers around the world. Senior engineer John Foley is also setting up a separate antenna just around the corner from the truck. John’s going to be receiving a live insert feed from Dave Buckman at the Naval Station Norfolk just up the road. Mr. Buckman is one of several senior engineers on the base, which is hosting Fox NFL Sunday in recognition of Veterans Day.
Ben Bradshaw and Steve Hagerty are already set up in the shadow of the awe-inspiring USS George H.W. Bush, the tenth and final Nimitz-class supercarrier of the U.S. Navy fleet. With help from the PSSI International Teleport (PIT), Ben and Steve are providing phones and internet to the TV compound via satellite. (More to come soon on our recent technological breakthroughs on data via satellite.) Blake Blomstrom will also be there Saturday and Sunday to provide the primary transmission path for Fox’s broadcast. With so many veterans among our growing staff, PSSI Global Services is proud to be such an integral part of this great event.
That’s not the only Navy-centric event we have on our schedules, which surely makes Naval Academy grad Rob Lamb happy. Before he even gets to Norfolk, Dave Buckman will be transmitting the Veterans Classic live from Alumni Hall at the Naval Academy. Alabama, Memphis and Pitt join Navy for an exciting doubleheader kickoff to the college basketball season. New-to-PSSI engineer Chris Golden will be lending a hand on Dave’s truck, then moving over to C23 Saturday to provide the uplink for CBS Sports Network’s broadcast of Navy vs. SMU at the Navy Marine Corps Stadium in Annapolis. Welcome aboard, Chris!
We have more military action up the road in West Point, where Mike Howley is back at Michie Stadium for Army football on CBS Sports Network. Army hosts Duke, and Mike will be the primary transmission path for the game before heading back home to New Hampshire.
Of course, there’s plenty more football on our schedule this weekend. This week’s 4K/UHD broadcast is on Friday night, when the Stanford Cardinal host the Washington Huskies. Senior engineers Paul Blomstrom and Dave Brin are working side by side to provide Fox with 4K and HD out of two of our finest C-band trucks. Lance Banks at PIT will be watching as always from one of our 4K/UHD quality control monitoring stations to ensure a flawless broadcast to affiliates nationwide.
We also have a couple of trucks down in Auburn for the SEC Game of the Week. As usual, Rick Ball is the engineer of choice for CBS’s Saturday afternoon broadcast of Georgia vs. Auburn, a huge game for both teams. Just up the street from Rick, Marty Smitherman’s all set up for SEC Nation, which will be live from Auburn’s campus Saturday morning before the games kick off.
Justin Roszak is getting set up for CBS’s other game on Saturday: the Florida Gators vs. the South Carolina Gamecocks, live from Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia, South Carolina. Here’s hoping the Gamecocks give the Gators a run for their money!
John May and Ron Ford are back in CK48 together for some big-time college football. This Saturday night they are providing primary and backup transmission paths for Fox’s broadcast of TCU at Oklahoma, live from Memorial Stadium.
It’s the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) championship this Saturday in West Chester, Pennsylvania. Pittsburgh-based Dave “Mitch” Mitchell rounds out a flawless season of football as the Golden Rams face the Indiana University of Pennsylvania Crimson Hawks. Nice work this season, Mitch!
Atlanta-based Benny Griffis is on his way to Greenville, North Carolina, where the East Carolina Pirates host Tulane. Then back to Atlanta for Benny, who will be on a big corporate event for much of next week.
San Diego-based Larry Sheets is on the road this week. He’ll be up early on Saturday for Fox’s broadcast of Michigan State vs. Ohio State, live from the Horseshoe in Columbus. From there Larry heads up to Cleveland for a corporate event early next week.
Vegas-based Brian Blomstrom is also a long way from home, as he prepares for ESPN’s broadcast of the University of Central Florida vs. UCONN, live from Spectrum Stadium in Orlando on Saturday. Brian will be providing a seven-channel multiplexed transmission that ESPN will put the finishing touches on at their headquarters in Connecticut.
Still more “at-home” transmissions for us: Steve Toth is in Cincinnati Friday night doing a 10-channel multiplexed transmission of Cincy vs. Temple. Steve hangs tight in Ohio for another at-home transmission in Akron the following Tuesday.
LA-based engineer Chris Hovden is back in Baton Rouge for a 10-channel at-home transmission via fiber. It’s Arkansas vs. LSU, and Chris is getting one of our two high-end fiber encoding kits set up inside Tiger Stadium.
The other kit is at UNC in Kyle Meyer’s capable hands. This is the first of what will be quite a few at-home transmissions of college basketball on ESPN. Friday night the Tar Heels host the Northern Iowa Panthers, and Kyle will be encoding seven paths for a fiber transmission back to ESPN headquarters.
And there’s still more basketball on our schedule. Todd Harvey was in Houston Thursday night for some NBA action, as the Houston Rockets hosted the Cleveland Cavaliers. Harvey’s hopping on a plane to Syracuse, where his next assignment is Orange football on Saturday afternoon, when Syracuse hosts Wake Forest.
John Poss also has some basketball in Houston, where McNeese State comes to town to face the Houston Cougars on Friday night, live on ESPN3.
John is coming out of an emotionally and physically challenging week in Sutherland Springs, Texas, where he, Ron Ford and John May rotated round-the-clock shifts for Fox News’s coverage of the horrific shooting. This triumvirate of Global Services engineers were just up the street from News Group veterans Michael Humphrey and Max Lewis, who were providing extensive coverage of their own for CNN. There’s nothing easy about working these terrible tragedies, and we are all deeply appreciative of our team’s efforts.
Let’s round out our weekend with a little golf, a little racing and a lot of fighting. Jose Sanchez and Kevin Spangler are well into a busy week of Golf Channel news and tournament services at the OHL Classic at El Camaleón in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico. Word on the street is that the all-inclusive resort is keeping Kevin and Jose well-fed, so at least they’re not going hungry while providing Golf Channel with extensive transmission and communications services along with our trusted partners in Mexico, Telecomm.
A little closer to home, Joe Cox is at the Charles Schwab Cup, live from the Phoenix Country Club, providing tournament coverage for Golf Channel. Joe’s going to layover in Phoenix for a corporate event early next week before heading home to Vegas.
A stone’s throw down the road, our C27 truck is setting up at the Phoenix International Raceway for this weekend’s races, which culminate in the Can-Am 500 on Sunday. Jonathan Ayala and Andy Kehn are at the helm of our mobile teleport providing extensive, multipath transmission services for our good friends at NASCAR.
Phoenix-based Jim Flowers finds himself in Fresno this weekend, where he and Wes Hill will be providing transmission services for ESPN and MC Productions out of our CK35 mobile teleport. Project manager David Gallardo joins our engineers at the Save Mart Center for the main event of Ramirez vs. Reed, which will be broadcast on ESPN and distributed to viewers around the world.
David Meyer is also a long way from home (Seattle), as he’s working Showtime boxing in Cleveland Friday night. From there he heads down to Indianapolis for Pittsburgh affiliate KDKA’s pre- and post-game coverage of the Steelers vs. Colts game.
At Nassau Coliseum in Long Island, New York, Dennis Smith, Mati Kerpen, Mike Sheehan and engineer in charge (EIC) Mike Lemieux are all on hand for Saturday night’s big HBO fight: World Championship Boxing, Jacobs vs. Arias. Project managers Victor Verno and Eric Hall are on hand to ensure flawless domestic and international transmissions. It’s been quite a run for Mr. Kerpen, who just finished up several days of transmissions for Conan O’Brien’s live shows from the Apollo Theater in Harlem. Then next week Mati will be on hand in NYC for Microsoft’s Connect 2017 conference, providing live transmissions for those who can’t make the big event.
From all of us at PSSI Global Services, happy Veterans Day!