With Thanksgiving just around the corner, PSSI Global Services wants to take a moment to give thanks to all of our employees, vendors and co-workers for all you do throughout the year. You are what makes PSSI great! We wish you and yours a very Happy Thanksgiving, and especially thank those engineers and project managers who will be spending the holiday on the road.
Blake Blomstrom and Chris Golden are together on our C23 truck on St. Simons Island, Georgia, at the Sea Island Resort Golf Club for the RSM Golf Classic. Chris has plenty of experience doing uplinks on a golf course, but this is his inaugural transmission as a PSSI employee!
From St. Simons, Blake will head to our Orlando office and shop, where AJ Miceli, Nick Dailey, Norm Bearce, Sam Miceli and Abi Falcon have been working their fingers to the bone to get our new C31 truck built, tested and ready for action. C31 isn’t exactly new — it was once a Ku-band truck — but our teams in Vegas and Orlando have replaced the antenna and completely rewired the truck to be an absolute C-band powerhouse for golf, pay-per-views and other huge events. Blake’s taking the truck down the road to Bradenton, Florida for a Golf Channel News event, and from there it’ll float to the Bahamas for some more golf action later this month.
Brian Blomstrom, Chris Hovden and project manager, Michael Hollander, are at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles with our CK35 mobile teleport to broadcast the world’s biggest fan-voted award show, the American Music Awards. This year Bruno Mars leads the pack with eight nominations going into this weekend. While Brian handles the primary broadcast transmission for ABC, Chris Hovden is there to receive an inbound insert feed from Dennis Smith in Washington, D.C.
Before he gets to D.C., Dennis and the Columbia truck are heading to Stuart Siegel Center at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) in Richmond, Virginia for college basketball, where the VCU Rams take on the Virginia Cavaliers.
Down the road in Blacksburg, Virginia, Dave Buckman and the K46 truck will be on hand when the Virginia Tech Hokies take on the Pittsburgh Panthers. Although the Hokies are favored to win, their offense has been questionable as of late. We’ll see who charges their way to victory, thanks to Dave’s transmission services for ESPN.
Mati Kerpen was busy this week at Spring Studios in New York City, where he provided transmission for Microsoft’s Connect Conference 2017. This year’s event included the debut of Azure Databricks, Azure DevOps projects, Visual Studio Liveshare and Visual Studio App Center. Mati’s got a few down days before he heads to Westchester County Center in White Plains, New York for NBA G League basketball, where the Lakeland Magic will face the Westchester Knicks on Sunday afternoon.
Steve Hagerty in K18 and Mike Howley in C41 are setting up at Spartans Stadium in East Lansing, Michigan for Saturday’s game. After the Spartans’ crushing loss last week against Ohio State, they are hoping to get a win over the Maryland Terrapins.
Mike Howley’s coming off some NBA basketball in Boston on Thursday night, where the Celtics beat the Golden State Warriors at the TD Boston Garden. Right after the game, Shrewsbury-based jack-of-all-trades Marc Sarazin hustled the C45 down to Colorado-based Mike Sheehan, who parked the truck at Madison Square Garden this morning in preparation for HBO’s “Night of Too Many Stars.” Engineer in charge (EIC) Mike Lemieux is on hand with project manager Eric Hall to ensure a flawless broadcast of this live benefit for Autism education initiatives.
MineCon 2017, the annual MineCraft convention, is taking place on Saturday in Atlanta, Georgia. This year’s event includes an interactive Livestream event called MineCon Earth, and we have two trucks there to support the transmission. It’s nice to have two Atlanta-based engineers working in their own back yard: Benny Griffis in K17 and Kevin Spangler in C49 are all set up and ready to go tomorrow.
Dave Mitchell’s covering some familiar ground as he’ll be at WVU Coliseum in Morgantown, West Virginia a couple of times this week for Mountaineer basketball. It’s a straight shot down I-79 and back for Mitch, a trip he’s made once or twice in his long career as an uplink engineer.
It’s a doubleheader weekend for the SEC on CBS. Steve Chaisson’s all set up in Fayetteville, Arkansas, where the Razorbacks host the Mississippi State Bulldogs on Saturday afternoon. Steve’s going to hang tight with the truck, since the CBS crew is back at Razorback Stadium next week for a special Friday game on CBS. From there, Steve makes a long haul in our C21 truck, as awards shows and the college football bowl season has us very busy back in Vegas and California all December long.
Justin Roszak and C24 are at Sanford Stadium in Athens, Georgia this weekend for the broadcast of the Kentucky Wildcats taking on the Georgia Bulldogs Saturday afternoon. Both teams have a lot riding on this weekend’s matchup, and Justin is all set for what’s surely going to be a barnburner of a football game.
Steve Toth is down the road at Auburn, where he will engineer a multiplexed transmission via fiber with one of our state-of-the art at-home encoding kits. Louisiana-Monroe is in town this Saturday, and hopefully the Tigers don’t get caught looking ahead to next weekend’s Alabama game.
Craig Henry and CK25 are on-site in Naples, Florida at the Tiburon Golf Club at the Ritz-Carlton Resort to bring us the 2017 CME Group Tour Championship. This tournament is the grand finale of the LPGA season, and Craig will be transmitting both C-band and Ku-band paths for LPGA fans nationwide.
Dave Brin and C36 head to Stanford Stadium on Saturday for one of the oldest football rivalries in the U.S. — simply called the Big Game — as the California Golden Bears take on the Stanford Cardinals for the Stanford Axe. The Big Game rivalry started in March of 1898 when undergraduate Herbert Hoover and his friend Herbert Lang organized the first Big Game. We’ll have to check our own records, but chances are Sacramento-based Dave Brin has worked at least a few of these Big Games over the years.
Rick Kolinek has done his share of Chicago Wolves hockey broadcasts, and he’s back at it this Sunday. He and the K22 head to BMO Harris Bank Center in Rockford, Illinois, where the Wolves take on the Rockford IceHogs.
We have a big-time game on Saturday in State College, Pennsylvania, as the Penn State Nittany Lions host the Nebraska Cornhuskers. Rick Varney is there, as always, for Fox’s 4K/UHD transmission, and Nick Ray is alongside him doing something a little different this week. Nick’s truck is transmitting a multiplexed signal, and one of the channels in the mux is the first 1080p HDR feed in college football broadcast history. Rick and Nick are among our finest engineers, and great representatives for PSSI’s ongoing commitment to providing cutting-edge transmission services.
Speaking of the cutting edge, Ron Ford and Paul Blomstrom will be doing a 10-channel multiplexed transmission out of a 2.4 m Ku-band antenna in Stillwater, Oklahoma on Saturday. This is the next step in our continuing research in delivering complex and cost-efficient, at-home transmission schemes to broadcasters who are moving beyond traditional production setups. Ron and Paul will transmit 10 channels of video back to ESPN headquarters in Bristol, where the crew there will produce the final show.
Director of Broadcast Sports, Rick Ball, was in Texas with Ron to help prepare his truck earlier this week, and then he was with the guys in Penn State before he had to catch a plane to Maui. Somewhere over the Pacific he’ll meet up with Todd Harvey, and the two of them will be spending the better part of next week at the Maui Invitational Basketball Tournament at the Lahaina Civic Center. Hopefully they’ll take at least a couple of breaks to enjoy the beautiful surroundings, and hopefully Rick will have time for a nap after all this travel!
John Bright will also find himself in a nice environment next week, as he travels to the Bahamas for ESPN’s broadcast of the Battle 4 Atlantis basketball tournament, live from the Atlantis Imperial Arena. John will be missing his family on Thanksgiving, but hopefully the views from the resort will make it a little easier to swallow.
Much, much farther away, Jim Flowers and project manager, Garrett Hunt, are in another time zone altogether as they set up for a UFC Fight Night live in Sydney, Australia. The event is live on Saturday night in the Eastern time zone, which means it’ll be Sunday in Sydney. Not to worry: Garrett spent a lot of time checking his time conversions to ensure that viewers around the world will be able to tune into this exciting event.
Back in the States, we have a big-time WWE pay-per-view weekend in Houston, Texas. Zane Michaels and project manager, Logan Schinto, are well into the long process of setting up the CK30 mobile teleport for numerous inbound and outbound transmission paths via satellite and fiber. Saturday night is NXT Live, Sunday is the Survivor Series PPV, Monday is RAW and Tuesday is SmackDown. It’s going to be a crazy few days at the Toyota Center.
Last but not least, we’ve already reached the end of another remarkable NASCAR season. Ben Bradshaw and Jonathan Ayala are in the C27 at the Homestead-Miami Speedway for the Ford Championship Weekend. The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, the NASCAR XFINITY Series and the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series championship trophies all arrived in the Magic City aboard the iconic Goodyear Blimp, and our crew is all set for the action. After the last race on Sunday, driver Jerry Gore will take our C27 mobile teleport to our team in Orlando for extensive offseason upgrades. We’re already excited for the 2018 season! Big thanks and congratulations to our NASCAR team, which includes engineers Ben Bradshaw, Jonathan Ayala, Kyle Meyer and Andy Kehn, driver Jerry Gore, and account managers Dan Patin and Gary O’Donovan. It takes a lot of focus, dedication, and sacrifice to provide such extensive transmission services week in and week out, and this crew has had another great year.
All in a week’s work!