Weekly Roundup: Nov. 24-30

We at PSSI Global Services have a lot to be thankful for. We’re heading into the home stretch of what has been a remarkable year of growth and exciting opportunities. We are so fortunate to have so many new employees, new facilities and new customers in our extended family. And just yesterday we added a baby girl to the PSSI Global Services family! Congratulations to new grandfather Rob Lamb — and all of the Lamb family — on the birth of Charlotte “Charlie” Kennedy Lamb!

Welcome to the family, Charlotte!

CEO Rob Lamb holding baby Charlie

Thanksgiving weekend is always a busy one in live television, and we want to give an extra special thanks to the guys in the field who are working on the holiday. Life on the road is always challenging, but it’s especially difficult to be away from friends and family on a holiday. Thank you so much for your hard work and sacrifice this Thanksgiving — and college football rivalry — weekend!

Ron Ford hits the road on Thanksgiving to get his truck in place at Bill Snyder Family Stadium in Manhattan, Kansas, where the Kansas State Wildcats host the Iowa State Cyclones. Chris Hovden joins Ron for another 10-channel “at-home” transmission for ESPN. Last week Ron and Paul Blomstrom were the first to uplink 10 channels of multiplexed video with a Ku-band truck, and there’s no stopping us now. This is going to be a great game, as this rivalry, which began in 1917, is the longest uninterrupted college rivalry in the country.

Kyle Meyer’s also traveling on Thanksgiving, as he’ll be in Houston to set up his truck for Friday’s game at John O’Quinn/TDECU Stadium. The University of Houston hosts the Navy Midshipmen, and Kyle will uplink 10 multiplexed channels back to ESPN headquarters in Connecticut.

PSSI News Group’s Al Meshberg is spending his week in Alabama for ongoing coverage of the Roy Moore story for CNN. And Bill O’Toole is headed to New York City for CNN’s coverage of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Otherwise it has been a relatively quiet week for breaking news, but all of the guys in the News Group are ready to mobilize at a moment’s notice.

Shelby Schmidt is keeping busy at PIT Studio, as well, with live shots for Fox Business news, Al Jazeera and Eurovision this week. And of course, the PSSI International Teleport (PIT) keeps humming 24/7, no matter if it’s a holiday or not. Thanks to long-time PIT jack-of-all-trades Fran Chew for sending us a photo of some PIT folks in the new PSSI International Teleport swag we had made! Happy Thanksgiving to you all in Pittsburgh!

PIT team with their new swag

Steve Toth will make his way up to Charlottesville, Virginia, for Friday’s Virginia Tech vs. Virginia rivalry game at Scott Stadium. This will be another 10-channel multiplexed transmission via fiber. Steve has quickly become our go-to for at-home fiber and satellite transmissions in the Southeast and beyond, so much so that the ESPN crews have started asking for him by name!

Georgia-based Marty Smitherman was also requested by name to travel to Columbia, South Carolina, for Thanksgiving. It’s the big in-state rivalry weekend for the Clemson Tigers and Carolina Gamecocks. Marty’s there along with the SEC Nation crew, who will be up real early on Saturday morning for the SEC Nation pregame show live from Williams-Brice Stadium.

Mike Sheehan is on the road Wednesday and will be in Ann Arbor, Michigan, at Michigan Stadium all weekend for Fox’s extensive coverage of all the hoopla leading up to “The Game,” as the Michigan Wolverines host the Ohio State Buckeyes. This age-old rivalry started in 1897 and has become of particular interest in the last 50 years as the winner usually ends up determining the Big Ten Conference title as well as the Rose Bowl match-up in the new year.

Steve Chaisson has been on the road for a couple of weeks near Fayetteville, Arkansas. He was there last week for the Razorbacks game on CBS, and he’s there again at Razorback Stadium for more SEC football on Friday. The Missouri Tigers are in town this weekend, and Steve and his friends on the CBS crew will be there for every second of the action.

Rick Varney’s spending his Thanksgiving in Texas for what will be the last 4K/UHD transmission of the regular season. He and John May are setting up CK48 at Amon G. Carter Stadium in Fort Worth, where the Baylor Bears take on the TCU Horned Frogs. At their last home game of the season, the Horned Frogs are looking to clinch a spot in the Big 12 Title game. This is also one of the older college football rivalries in the country, starting in 1899. It has been a superb season for Rick Varney and our 4K Fox team, which includes Lance Banks and PIT, where we’ve been providing quality control monitoring for 4K affiliates nationwide. Many more technological advances are well on their way, and we’re excited to be a part of the next big thing in broadcast television history!

Right after the TCU game, John and Rick will hustle the truck to Joe Aillet Stadium in Ruston, Louisiana, where they will provide a seven-channel at-home transmission of the game between the University of Texas-San Antonio Roadrunners and the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs. It’s a busy weekend for both guys, to say the least!

Mike Howley is also traveling on turkey day as he heads to Capital One Field in College Park, Maryland, where the Penn State Nittany Lions take on the Maryland Terrapins. This long-time college football rivalry started in 1917, and the teams have met 40 times since its inception. Big thanks to Mike for being on the road for yet another weekend.

Benny Griffis is making a drive down to Niceville, Florida, on Thursday for CBS Sports Network’s coverage of the Emerald Coast Classic, live from the Northwest Florida State College Arena on Friday and Saturday.

Rick Ball and Todd Harvey are both a long way from home as they continue their transmission services for ESPN’s broadcast of the Maui Invitational at the Lahaina Civic Center in Maui. While it may be hard to complain about the surroundings, we appreciate both guys being willing to stay out on the road over the holiday to make sure this college hoops action makes it back to the mainland.

From Maui, Rick heads all the way to Auburn, Alabama, for what may be the biggest game of the weekend. You might have to tie Rick up to keep him from doing the uplink for CBS at Jordan-Hare Stadium at Auburn University on Saturday. It’s the Iron Bowl, and the Alabama Crimson Tide take on the Auburn Tigers in what will no doubt be a huge game for both teams.

Battle 4 Atlantis

John Bright finds himself in pretty nice digs, as well, this week. Thanks to a little help from his friend Nick Dailey, who flew in for setup, John is all set with a 2.4m flyaway antenna at the Atlantis Imperial Arena in Paradise Island, Bahamas, for the Battle 4 Atlantis basketball tournament. We all hope the sunshine helps John forget that he’s missing Thanksgiving dinner!

Paradise Island, Bahamas

Do they celebrate Thanksgiving in Shanghai? Project manager Keith Valeri and UFC engineer in charge (EIC) Tracy Michaels are on their way to find out, as both are en route to the Mercedes-Benz Arena in Shanghai, China, for Saturday night’s (Saturday night in the states, at least) UFC Fight Night: Bisping vs. Gastelum. Thanks to both guys for being so far from home to manage the transmission for this big fight!

Still more football on the schedule!

  • John Poss will be in Austin, Texas, on Friday for the big Texas Tech vs. Texas rivalry game at Texas Memorial Stadium.
  • Craig Henry and Dave Buckman will be side by side in Piscataway, New Jersey, at the High Point Solutions Stadium on Saturday when the Michigan State Spartans face the Rutgers Scarlet Knights.
  • Steve Hagerty’s making his way to Syracuse on Thanksgiving, as the Syracuse Orange host the Boston College Eagles on Saturday at the Carrier Dome.
  • John Jennings and Nathan Holsey will be at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena with our C15 truck on Saturday when the California Golden Bears take on the UCLA Bruins in the last game of the regular season.
  • Joe Cox is heading to Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City, Utah, with Atlas on Saturday for the big rivalry game between the University of Colorado Buffaloes and the University of Utah Utes. The Rumble in the Rockies rivalry started back in 1903 when these two teams first met.
  • Wes Hill is heading to Husky Stadium in Seattle, Washington, on Saturday with C47 for the Apple Cup, where the Washington State Cougars face the Washington Huskies. These two teams have been rivals since their first meeting on Nov. 30, 1900, and have faced each other well over 100 times in battle on the playing field. From there Wes will bring C47 down toward California to get in place for what is going to be a busy bowl season.
  • Dave Mitchell is in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in the Pittsburgh truck (how fitting) at Heinz Field on Sunday to cover the Green Bay Packers and the Pittsburgh Steelers in some NFL action.

A little basketball, too: Nick Ray is heading to the Portland Expo Center in Portland, Maine, on Sunday in the AZ truck for NBA G League basketball as the Greensboro Swarm take it on the road to face the Maine Red Claws.

Justin Roszak is in Greensboro, North Carolina, for the USA Fiba Basketball World Cup on ESPN, with distribution to European hoops fans, as well.

And hockey? Why not? Rick Kolinek makes his way to Milwaukee on Friday as the Chicago Wolves come to town to face the Milwaukee Admirals in some AHL action.

We’re back at Madison Square Garden in New York City for more HBO boxing. Mati Kerpen and Dennis Smith are setting up for the domestic and international broadcasts, as EIC Mike Lemieux and project managers Eric Hall and Victor Verno are on hand to ensure production has everything they need for a successful show with distribution around the world.

Last but not least, Brian Blomstrom stays close to home with our CK35 mobile teleport at the Axis Theater at Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, covering the 66th annual Miss Universe pageant this weekend. Steve Harvey, five-time Emmy Award winner, will host the event again this year with well over 100 women competing from all over the world.

Wishing a happy Thanksgiving weekend full of great food and great television to all of our clients, partners, family and friends! We are thankful for each and every one of you.