Can you believe it’s November already? Halloween’s behind us, Thanksgiving’s ahead, and we have a whole lot going on in between.
We will start in Pittsburgh, where it’s been a tough week for a great city. Last Saturday morning our phones started ringing off the hook as word of the horrible shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue started to spread. Dave Mitchell hustled down to Squirrel Hill to provide coverage for our friends at CBS News, while Cary Poarch and Bill O’Toole from PSSI News Group made their way into the city on CNN’s behalf. At our PIT Studio in downtown Pittsburgh, Shelby Schmidt lined up live shot after live shot with guest experts and pundits on all the major news networks via various transmission modes at PSSI International Teleport. In the past week alone, Shelby has overseen over 36 live shots from the studio. This one hit close to home for a lot of us, and the steady work did little to distract us from the tragedy. Big thanks to everyone who worked around the clock to bring this news to the rest of the world.
We have a lot of news on our schedules as the midterm elections approach. Benny Griffis is getting set for Barack Obama’s rally at Morehouse College in Atlanta, GA Friday night. From there he heads up to Southwest Virginia for a live shot with a local candidate Sunday morning.
Steve Hagerty’s also down south, as he and John Bright will be in Chattanooga, TN for President Trump’s rally at McKenzie Arena.
Out west we’re on election duty, as well. Mark Huss and John Jennings will be in Phoenix and Scottsdale on behalf of Arizona State University for their coverage of local representatives on election night. Same story in Pennsylvania, where Dave Mitchell and Dennis Smith will be in York and Scranton at the headquarters of local candidates there. At this point it’s tough to say who will be broadcasting victory or concession speeches on Tuesday night!
We will see what the next few days bring, but our news teams in the Southeast – and nationwide – are ready to respond at a moment’s notice as the returns start pouring in.
All the news aside, our sports schedule is as busy as ever. Here’s a look at what we’ll be doing on the gridiron this weekend:
Larry Sheets and the C23 will be at Amon G. Carter Stadium at Texas Christian University in Ft Worth, TX when Kansas State comes to town to take on the TCU Horned Frogs on Saturday.
Mike Howley and the C42 truck will be at Michie Stadium in West Point, NY, where Army hosts Air Force in some great Armed Forces football.
Dave Buckman and the Columbia truck will be at Greene Stadium at Howard University in Washington, DC, where the Florida A&M Rattlers take on the Howard Bison.
Dennis Smith isn’t too far away from Dave at Hughes Memorial Stadium for Bethune Cookman versus the Morgan State Bears on Saturday afternoon.
Rick Ball and the C24 truck are at LSU’s Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge, LA for Saturday’s SEC on CBS game of the week. This is going to be one heckuva game, as the #1 Alabama Crimson Tide are in town to take on the Tigers. This is one of a handful of prime time games on CBS this season, and Rick wouldn’t miss it for the world.
John Bright’s handling the afternoon SEC on CBS game, live from Lexington, KY. John’s setting up C41’s big antenna at Kroger Field, where the Kentucky Wildcats will host the smokin’ hot Georgia Bulldogs on Saturday.
Speaking of big antennas, Justin Roszak has the 5.5m dish on the CK48 truck peaked up and ready for action at Skelly Field at H.A Chapman Stadium in Tulsa, OK. Justin’s doing yet another one of his patented at-home transmissions for our friends at CBS SportsNet on Saturday, as Tulsa hosts the UConn Huskies. Justin’s transmitting a mind-boggling amount of data via satellite to our teleport in Pittsburgh, and our team there will ingest and hand off to the AT&T Global Video services network for delivery to CBS headquarters in NYC. There our friends at CBS will produce the game for prime time broadcast.
Just down the road from Justin, Chris Golden is in the recently upgraded Frontline truck at McLane Stadium in Waco, TX. Here the Baylor Bears host the Oklahoma State Cowboys on Saturday afternoon in some big time Big 12 football on Fox.
Craig Henry’s going to be in Columbus, OH for some Big 10 action on Saturday. He’s setting up at Buckeye Stadium for Saturday’s game between Ohio State and the Nebraska Cornhuskers.
And why not a little PAC 12 football? That’s where Fox’s 4K game of the week is happening, and that’s where you’ll find Dave Brin and Steve Chaisson providing a 4K/HD mux to our friends at Fox for the matchup between the USC Trojans and the Oregon State Beavers.
You might be asking yourself this question: if Steve and Dave are on the 4K game, where is 4K guru Rick Varney? Well, he’s in Las Vegas, parked outside MGM’s Grand Garden Arena, in the middle of a four-night stand of Phish concerts in sparkling 4K. Rick is providing the 4K encoding, decoding, and satellite transmission of a beautiful 4K production as Phish fans around the world stream his broadcast. The jams are extending into the wee hours, and Mr. Varney is enjoying the light show as much as the phans inside. You can join the party, too, by clicking here!
We had another interesting concert on our schedule earlier in the week. John Jennings and Larry Sheets were at the beautiful Greek Theater in Los Angeles, CA, providing transmission services for the star-studded Mac Miller concert on Wednesday night.
More entertainment in Southern California. EIC Paul Blomstrom and project manager Eric Hall are managing the final episode of Pod Save America, live on HBO Friday night. Engineers Chris Hovden and Wes Hill are there, as well, for this midterm election special featuring hosts Jon Favreau, Jon Lovett, Dan Pfeiffer and Tommy Vieto.
From there, Chris and Wes head up the road to LA Live in Downtown Los Angeles to join project manager Michael Hollander as we prepare to broadcast the 2018 American Latino Media Arts Awards, live on Sunday night. The ALMA Awards is the only nationally broadcast English-language show that celebrates Latinos in arts, media, music and entertainment. We are proud to be a part of the event, which is returning from a three-year hiatus.
Still more awards: Brian Blomstrom and Ray Loyko are at Moffett Field in Northern California with the CK35 mobile teleport for Sunday’s Breakthrough Prize special. The Breakthrough Prize is a set of international awards bestowed to scientists in recognition of scientific advancements in Life Sciences, Fundamental Physics, and Mathematics. Each winner receives $3 million in prize money to continue pursuing their important research.
From science to…wrestling?
What a run it has been for our WWE crew. Immediately following a wildly successful pay-per-view in New York City last weekend, project manager Logan Schinto and engineers Zane Michaels and Mike Lemieux hopped a plane to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia to begin preparing for WWE Crown Jewel at King Saud University Stadium on Friday night.
Using multiple flyaway antenna systems and encoding kits shipped from our Las Vegas facility, our team provided multiple paths from site for worldwide distribution of this event, with the PSSI International Teleport as a key hub for US and Latin American feeds. Mike Howley and Nick Ray were also providing extensive transmission and receive services at WWE headquarters in Stamford, CT. Believe it or not, Zane and Logan continue their worldwide adventure when they hop a plane to Manchester, UK for live broadcasts of WWE Raw and Smackdown from Manchester Arena. What a long, strange trip this will be!
Another huge show back here in the States this weekend: UFC 230 pay-per-view, live from Madison Square Garden on Saturday night. The main event features UFC veteran Daniel Cormier versus Derrick Lewis, with a whole host of undercards to be distributed to MMA fans around the world. Our “A” team is there alongside our partners at Concom and IMG: EIC Tracy Michaels, senior engineer Jim Flowers, project managers Keith Valeri and Garrett Hunt, and the multi-talented Blake Blomstrom rounding out PSSI’s fight card. Two powerhouse trucks – the C31 and CK25 mobile teleports – will handle extensive transmission duties for domestic and international broadcasts to millions of fans on multiple viewing platforms. Mati Kerpen will roll in Saturday to provide disaster recovery services out of his truck, and the PIT teleport will be providing multiple turnaround and playout services from Pittsburgh. It’s a true team effort to pull off a show of this magnitude!
Also in NYC, Strategic Television President Matt Bridges is overseeing all transmission and communications services for the 2018 New York City Marathon. This is Matt’s 25th consecutive year providing these services for race organizers and broadcasters, and he’s looking forward to another 25 years!
More fighting in Texas this weekend, live from El Paso. WBC junior lightweight world titleholder Miguel Berchelt of Mexico faces countryman Miguel “Mickey” Roman in a fight that will air live on ESPN+ Saturday night. John May is there for ESPN’s transmission, while Mike Sheehan will join forces with senior project manager David Gallardo to handle the fight’s international distribution.
Back in LA we have a Muay Thai fight at the Los Angeles Coliseum. John Jennings is there with our friends at Winkler Productions for this exciting event.
And Matt Huennekens has us back at the Rio’s Fight Dome in Las Vegas for another MMA event on Friday night.
Wait, there’s more!
Dave Mitchell and the Arizona truck will be at West Virginia University Coliseum in Morgantown when Alderson Broaddus @ WVU in a little NCAA basketball action. This is one of the first of what will be many college hoops games on our schedule.
Don’t forget about golf! We certainly won’t. Benny Griffis finished up a great week at the East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta, GA, where the Alabama Crimson Tide and USC Trojans golf squads emerged victorious.
Vegas-based Joe Cox is close to home at TPC Summerlin for the Shriners Hospital Open, which wraps up Sunday. Joe takes a couple down days before pushing on to the next UFC event in Denver, CO next weekend.
Jose Sanchez and Kevin Spangler are gearing up for a week in beautiful Mayakoba, Mexico. These guys will work with our friends and partners at Telecomm to provide Golf Channel with extensive coverage of the OHL Classic, live from El Camaleon. Big thanks to Roxana Sanchez (Jose’s better half) in working with Golf Channel project manager extraordinaire Jennifer Hyder-Michaels to make sure we have all we need to provide the same high level of service in Mexico as we do in the States.
By God we’re racing again. The C27 mobile teleport is at the Texas Motor Speedway for a series of races leading up to the 2018 AAA Texas 500. These are the last few races of the Monster Energy Cup Series, and we are proud to be side-by-side with our partners at NASCAR and AT&T for the final laps of what’s been a solid season of multi-modal transmission services.
NASCAR mainstay Jonathan Ayala is broadening his transmission horizons for the next 10 days or so as he works close to his home in Bradenton, FL. We have the C12 rocking and rolling with multi-path transmissions for CONCACAF’s U20 soccer tournament, live at the IMG Academy. We are proud and excited to be the exclusive domestic transmission provider for CONCACAF for the next few years, and what better way to kick off our partnership than with the exciting US men’s national under-20 team beating Puerto Rico. We are looking forward to the next three weeks at the IMG Academy, and the next few years of international soccer action with CONCACAF.
More to come…