The winds are dying down in Southern California, but there’s still quite a bit of concern about flare-ups and more wild fires. It’s certainly been keeping our Van Nuys staff on their toes, as our Global Services and News Group teams have been plenty busy in California.
A handful of PSSI News Group’s intrepid engineers have been across the state all week in tough conditions. Bob Tweed, Dave Conwell, Todd Anderson, and Max Lewis have been going around the clock for our friends at CNN. Earlier in the week, Dave Brin was in Santa Rosa for NBC’s coverage of that fire. And Chris Hovden handled transmission for ABC’s World News Tonight on Wednesday, with David Muir making the trip to Los Angeles to cover the Getty Fire.
It feels a little strange to be handling our regularly scheduled programming amidst the fires, but we’ve still got plenty of sports and entertainment to keep our guys busy out West and beyond.
Hot off his work for ABC, Chris Hovden will be at the LA Coliseum on Saturday night for the big game between the Oregon Ducks and USC Trojans, live on Fox.
John Jennings can still smell some smoke at the Sherwood Country Club in Thousand Oaks, but he’s keeping his mind on Golf Channel’s broadcast of the Invesco Championship, with play continuing through Sunday.
And Wes Hill is getting excited for The Little Mermaid: LIVE on ABC next week. He will have a truck at Disney Studios in Burbank for testing on Monday and the big show on Tuesday. We’ll see if we can’t get some video of Wes singing along to “Under the Sea” with the rest of the country on this exciting live show.
Up in Northern California, Steve Chaisson and Brian Blomstrom have the CK35 mobile teleport back at Moffett Field for another live broadcast of the Breakthrough Prize awards show. We are proud to be working this event yet again, as it gives well-deserved recognition to brilliant scientists and cutting-edge research. Tune into Nat Geo on Sunday night!
A little further up the coast, Larry Sheets is in Seattle for the game between the Utah Utes and Washington Huskies on Saturday afternoon. Earlier in the week, David Meyer was at Art Crate Field in Spanaway, WA for some high school football on Halloween night!
Let’s make our way east to run down a very busy week for our guys in Las Vegas. It’s Canelo versus Kovalev on Saturday night, and our friends at Golden Boy and DAZN have us all over town to help cover the hoopla leading up to the main event.
Before we talk Canelo, we have a couple of other fights we’re covering in Vegas. On Thursday, Brian Blomstrom was back at Mandalay Bay for more Professional Fighters League action. Brian uplinked multiple paths for PFL 9 on Halloween night, and the PSSI International Teleport took them all down for domestic, international, and streaming distribution to a host of outlets around the world. Thursday night’s fights have set the stage for the huge PFL 10 event in NYC on New Years’ Eve. Better believe we’ll be there for that!
On Friday night, Joe Cox will be over at Sam’s Town Hotel in Vegas for Showtime boxing. Xavier Martinez takes on Jessie Cris Rosales in the main event, with an exciting evening of undercards leading up to that fight.
Joe was at MGM Grand on Thursday alongside Paul Blomstrom for Golden Boy’s satellite media tour with Canelo and Kovalev. And the day before this event, Paul joined Mark Alston, Alex Mestizo, and production manager Dan Patin at the Ka Theatre for DAZN’s fighter press conference. For both events we used the K34 production/uplink hybrid to provide a full suite of production and transmission services. Friday we’ll do another big production for the official weigh-in, live from MGM Grand. We’ll be doing a multi-camera production for distribution via DAZN, and we’ll feed the house monitors and international broadcasters, as well. And that’s all before the fight on Saturday! Paul and Mark are back on K34 for Golden Boy’s Freeview feeds of the undercards, as well as EVS services for the Nevada Athletic Commission. Next to K34, Joe Cox and Matt Huennekens will have yet another truck set up for multiple fight feeds via satellite for our friends at Aldea. Mark Huss will be providing ringside commentary services for international broadcasters. November 2 is always a big fight night, and we’re grateful to be such an integral part of the entire week of boxing events. And we’re going to do it all again next week in LA, where Billy Joe Saunders will square off against Marcelo Coceres at the Staples Center on November 9.
We love boxing at PSSI Global Services! And there’s more of it out East. Justin Roszak’s at another MGM property – the MGM National Harbor Casino in Oxon Hill, MD – for yet another big fight on Saturday night. This is Premier Boxing Champions on FS1, and Justin’s there to provide a multiplexed transmission of several feeds for our friends at Fox. Strategic Television’s Michael Hollander won’t be there in person, but he has arranged for the PSSI International Teleport to take one of Justin’s signals and turn it around to international licensees around the world. Our team at PIT will send Michael an encrypted stream of the fight so that he can monitor the feed from the comfort of his own home in California.
Michael has a busy weekend. In addition to remotely managing the international distributions for the fights in Vegas and Maryland, Michael will be at CBS Television City in Los Angeles for the live broadcast of Real Time with Bill Maher on Friday night. We’ve been quietly managing the fiber and satellite distribution of this show for many years, with various Strategic Television project managers heading down to CBS on Friday afternoons to ensure a clean broadcast. Michael is one of the regulars!
Relatively new to the CBS rotation is project manager, Eric Storlie, who will be there on Sunday for the live broadcast of the Talking Dead. Here’s another show we’ve been doing for several years, booking and managing the fiber and satellite pathways back to AMC in New York with downstream distribution to Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, and Brazil.
Our UFC team is back at Madison Square Garden this weekend for another huge pay-per-view on Saturday night. Strategic Television project manager, Garrett Hunt, has all the pieces in place for domestic and international distribution of the fight between Jorge Masvidal and Nate Diaz on Saturday night. EIC Jim Flowers and Blake Blomstrom are in the CK25 mobile teleport for Friday’s test and Saturday’s PPV, and Kevin Spangler’s coming in to run the emergency truck on Saturday night. Tracy Michaels is tech managing the entire show for our friends at Concom. PSSI International Teleport is involved, as well, taking in multiple feeds from the team on the ground for re-distribution around the world. No other company can offer such an extensive array of services for live events of this magnitude. From transmission to event management, from technical production oversight to teleport services, we can do it all, and we’re thankful to Concom and UFC for allowing us the opportunity to flex our muscles.
Speaking of extraordinary event services, big congratulations to our WWE team for pulling off another show in Saudi Arabia. Strategic Television project manager, Logan Schinto, had spent months preparing for WWE Crown Jewel, live from Riyadh on Halloween, and all of that legwork paid off in a great show enjoyed by WWE fans around the world. Our Vegas engineering team, led by Tracy Michaels, assembled a cutting edge encoding and monitoring setup to accompany our flyaway antennas for shipment to Saudi Arabia along with WWE’s production setup. Senior engineers Zane Michaels and Mike Lemieux flew in to work with a local vendor to replicate the same redundancy and quality of our WWE transmissions in the States, which is no easy feat. Nick Ray and Kevin Spangler set up a C-band truck at WWE headquarters in Connecticut to ingest, hand off, then re-transmit another produced feed for domestic takers. And the PSSI International Teleport provided essential QC and turnaround services for multiple domestic and international signals. Logan, Zane, and Mike worked long hours in punishing heat while our team in the States was absolutely rock solid in support. Another great team effort for the most experienced team of engineers and project managers in the business. Next up: WWE in Manchester, England!
But wait, what about SmackDown? After finishing up his role in the Crown Jewel show, Nick Ray raced to the airport to catch a flight to Buffalo for Friday Night SmackDown. He missed his flight, spent the night in the airport, and raced to the KeyBank Center early Friday morning. Fortunately Joe Kelderhouse had the CK30 mobile teleport powered up and ready to roll, so Nick’s all set and ready to go for Fox’s broadcast. Nick takes a well-deserved couple of days before heading down to Uniondale for Monday Night RAW at the Nassau Coliseum.
All that work and we’ve barely mentioned any football! Well, let’s do a couple more before we get into the college football section.
Let’s make a stop in Bermuda, where Chris Golden has been rock solid for Golf Channel at the Bermuda Championship, live from the Port Royal Golf Club. Chris has one of our large aperture C-band antennas there to make the link back to GC headquarters in Florida, and he’ll drop the truck at the port before heading home after Sunday’s final round.
The weather’s a little different in Milwaukee, where Rick Kolinek has some AHL Hockey to transmit. The Chicago Wolves are taking on the Milwaukee Admirals at UW-Milwaukee’s Panther Arena on Saturday night. Madison resident and NASCAR regular Jonathan Ayala will get an introduction to Wolves Hockey and the K22 before Rick heads down to Rockford for Sunday’s game against the Rockford IceHogs. Nice run!
And we have a little hoops already: Dave Buckman’s at WVU Coliseum in Morgantown, WV, where the Mountaineers will host the Duquesne Dukes on Friday night. We just started loading up our 2020 season with college basketball, so we know we’ll have plenty to do when the football’s done!
And we have what is likely our last baseball event of the year, and it’s going to be a good one. Mati Kerpen’s headed to Washington, DC for the Washington Nationals victory parade. He’ll have his truck parked at the corner of 7th and Constitution on behalf of our friends at NBC, and it’s going to be one heckuva celebration for the Nats fans and players.
Of course we’re racing. We’re coming into the home stretch of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, and this week the C27 mobile teleport is at the Texas Motor Speedway in Justin, TX for the AAA Texas 500 on Sunday. Ben Bradshaw and Kyle Meyer are handling multiple inbound and outbound feeds via satellite and fiber while providing NASCAR’s production team with extensive data services via the AT&T Global Video Services network. PSSI International Teleport is once again the hub between the track and NASCAR headquarters in North Carolina, and the whole enterprise is a well-oiled machine. Just a couple more races before the season’s over, but we’re already looking forward to next year.
OK, finally we can get to the football. It’s another big time weekend for live college football all over the country. We already talked about the games on the west coast, so let’s head into Big 10 country!
The Fox Sports 1 4K game of the week is in Bloomington, Indiana this week, where the Hoosiers host Northwestern on Saturday evening at Memorial Stadium. 4K guru, Rick Varney, and one of his most trusted 4K acolytes, Mike Howley, have two C-band trucks side-by-side for the HD/UHD transmission paths. Whether it’s a great game or not will depend on the players, but Mike and Rick will guarantee that it will LOOK good on your 4K televisions.
Not too far up the road from the guys in Bloomington, Ron Ford and Dave “Mitch” Mitchell are getting set up at Purdue’s Ross-Ade Stadium in West Lafayette for the game between the Boilermakers and the Nebraska Cornhuskers. Ron and Mitch have C-band and Ku-band transmission paths for our friends at Fox.
Over in Big 12 country, Mike Sheehan’s back in Kansas for the big in-state rivalry between the hometown Jayhawks and the Kansas State Wildcats, also on the Fox networks.
Believe it or not, we don’t have a game in Texas this week. John May hardly knows what to do with himself, so he’s taking the free Saturday to make some improvements to the CK48 mobile teleport. Earlier in the week, John was in Waco for the live broadcast of DAZN’s Pat McAfee show, which we’re excited to be a part of every week. Don’t worry about John: he’s got the Dallas Music Awards next week as well as some 4K football of his own.
Kevin Spangler has a busy weekend. In between WWE and UFC, Kevin’s squeezing in a football game for our friends at ESPN. He’s at Rentschler Field in East Hartford for the game between the Huskies and Navy on Friday night. He’ll park the truck at the airport and head into NYC for the PPV on Saturday.
Steve Hagerty’s back on his Ku truck after a number of C-band jobs. This weekend he’s at Kelly Shorts Stadium in Mt. Pleasant, MI, where Central Michigan will host Northern Illinois on Saturday afternoon, live on CBS Sports Network.
Meanwhile, Dennis Smith is taking a break from his Ku-band truck for a little C-band action. He’s getting set up at Capitol One Stadium at the University of Maryland, where the Terps will host the Michigan Wolverines, live on ABC Saturday. It’s a huge game, and Dennis is up to the challenge!
Also on CBSSN, Cincinnati takes on East Carolina down in Greenville, NC on Saturday night. There we have Steve Toth finishing up a nice string of jobs in the great state of North Carolina.
We’ll finish up with the SEC on CBS Game of the Week, and it’s a southern tradition. Rick Ball’s down at the World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party in Jacksonville, FL, where the Florida Gators take on the Georgia Bulldogs on Saturday afternoon. There’s a lot of partying to be done before and after the game, but Rick’s sole focus is making sure CBS has a great show.
Craig Henry’s down there at TIAA Bank Field, as well, for ESPN’s SEC Nation show before the game on Saturday. It’s great to be so well-represented at Saturday’s biggest college football game!
PSSI/Strategic Television is one of the most experienced live event management companies in the world, and we bring our wealth of knowledge to every project. This weekend we have one of the best examples of this longevity and expertise on our schedule: the New York Marathon. Strategic Television President, Matt Bridges, has been in New York City all week long as he prepares for his 27th consecutive marathon on Sunday. This year, project managers Eric Hall and Victor Verno are working with Matt to make sure all the phones and internet drops around the city are ready for this expansive production and relay setup, which Matt knows like the back of his hand. Even after nearly three decades of managing this event, Matt and his team are exploring new methods to expand and improve our service offerings. This year, we are utilizing new IP transport technologies with our friends at Nextologies to send high quality feeds to multiple broadcasters. Yet again, our team at the PSSI International Teleport will play an integral role in providing hub services between the marathon and everybody tuning into the show. Congratulations to Matt and the entire New York Marathon crew!