We are full tilt into the last couple of weeks of the college football season, and we have some great games on the docket this weekend.
Let’s start in SEC country, where senior engineer Craig Henry is filling in for Rick Ball on CBS’s SEC Game of the Week. Craig’s back in Athens, GA, where the Bulldogs will host the Texas A&M Aggies on Saturday afternoon. Friday’s test went perfectly for Craig and our friends at CBS, so we’re all set for the game!
The 4K game of the week is down at McLane Stadium in Waco, TX, where the Baylor Bears will host the Texas Longhorns in a big in-state rivalry game. There we have John May working alongside 4K guru, Rick Varney, in two big ol’ C-band trucks, both transmitting beautiful 4K video back to Fox headquarters in Los Angeles.
Steve Hagerty’s got a big game on his truck, too. He’s at The Ohio State University, where the Buckeyes will host the Penn St. Nittany Lions in a classic Big 10 rivalry game. Steve’s coming off a busy week that included a major corporate event in Cincinnati. After the game this weekend, he’ll advance the truck forward toward Indiana for more big time Big 10 football next weekend.
Senior engineer Jim Flowers is “taking a break” from his grueling UFC schedule in beautiful Piscataway, NJ, where Rutgers hosts Michigan State on Saturday, also live on the Fox networks.
Not too far from Jim, Steve Toth finds himself in Annapolis, MD, for another Navy home game. SMU’s in town for this matchup, which will cap off a busy week for Steve. He started his week in Atlanta with our friends at DAZN, where we provided transmission and data services for yet another installment of the Pat McAfee show.
Big game in Ames, IA, and that’s where Mike Sheehan is setting up the C21 truck for another one of Fox’s “home run” productions. The Kansas Jayhawks will take on the Cyclones Saturday, and a lot of data will be leaving Mike’s antenna en route to Fox in LA.
After a nice busy stretch in the Pacific Northwest, David Meyer’s getting a little sun down in Tucson. David’s running another C-band truck for our friends at Fox, as Arizona hosts the Utah Utes on Saturday night in PAC 12 action. Big thanks to driver Devon Porter and our LA maintenance team for quickly solving an engine issue with the truck just before it left for Tucson. It takes a village!
More NFL football is back on our schedule, as Kyle Meyer and Dennis Smith find themselves back at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia for NFL Network’s live tailgate show on Sunday. The Eagles host the Seahawks in what should be a great game, but our guys are there for production and transmission of all the action in the parking lot before the teams even take the field!
Rick Kolinek’s doing his best to keep warm in Madison, WI, where the Badgers host the Purdue Boilermakers on Saturday, also on the Fox networks.
Mike Howley’s got a busy weekend in South Florida. On Saturday he’s at Marlins Park in Miami, where the ‘Canes host Florida International, live on CBS Sports Network. Then Mike heads up to Delray Beach on behalf of our friends at Concom, who will be producing the Chris Evert Celebrity Tennis Classic. Mike will have a truck with him, but his transmission will be purely IP, as he takes the venue’s internet and runs it through a Nextologies encoder for distribution back to the PSSI International Teleport. We can do it all!
Earlier in the week, and in South Florida, Justin Roszak was parked right next to a cruise ship and providing high-speed internet via satellite to a production crew aboard the boat. Without getting too deeply into the details, Justin took some of the massive amount of bandwidth we have at PSSI International Teleport via satellite and handed it off to the crew with a cable coming out of the modem on his truck. Very slick operation!
Keeping down South, Blake Blomstrom is back on the Golf Channel tour at the beautiful Sea Island Resort Golf Club in St. Simons Island, GA. The RSM Classic plays through Sunday, and Blake is enjoying some warm weather while providing our friends at Golf Channel the perfect transmissions they’ve come to expect from us.
Not too far down the road, Chris Golden is at the Tiburon Golf Club in Naples, FL, where the CME Group Tour Championship will finish play on Sunday if the rain stays away.
There aren’t many transmission companies in the world who can pull off a massive pay-per-view event. But what about two PPVs in the same weekend, during one of the busiest weekends of the year in college footbalI? No problem, we’ve got it!
Let’s start at the Allstate Arena outside Chicago, where our WWE team is already in the middIe of a big stretch of big shows. Both Nick Ray and Zane Michaels are on the CK30 mobile teleport for Fox’s Friday Night SmackDown. On Saturday, Strategic Television project manager, Logan Schinto, will join the guys to start back-to-back nights of PPV action with NXT Takeover. Sunday night’s another installment in the WWE Survivor Series PPV, featuring all of the biggest names in pro wrestling. The PSSI International Teleport is a key part of the shows’ worldwide distribution plans, of course. Then Monday takes us back to our regularly scheduled programming, as Monday Night RAW keeps our team busy for yet another night of wrestling before driver Joe Kelderhouse moves the CK30 to its next destination in the never-ending WWE tour.
Back in Vegas, we are excited for another Fox pay-per-view boxing event, and we have a huge team of engineers and project managers to pull this one off. We started early this week with press conferences and satellite media tours at the MGM Grand, where Deontay Wilder and Luis Ortiz have been trading verbal punches before the big fight on Saturday night. Strategic Television project managers, Victor Verno and Michael Hollander, are ensuring that every single licensee around the world receives all the boxing action, as well as making sure Fox’s production team has all the phones and internet they need to pull off this huge show. EIC Tracy Michaels is working with senior engineers Paul and Brian Blomstrom in the CK35 mobile teleport for multiple inbound and outbound transmissions via fiber and satellite. Joe Cox will be in yet another truck for a tertiary transmission pathway, and the PSSI International Teleport in Pittsburgh is providing a host of QC and turnaround services for our team on the ground in Vegas. As it is with every PPV, it is enormous undertaking to make sure every single piece of the puzzle is accounted for, and our Strategic Television team is the absolute best in the business at pulling off a show of this scale and making it look easy. Great job, guys!
It’s been a pretty busy stretch for Tracy Michaels, to say the least. Tracy, who tech managed another successful UFC event in Brazil last weekend, hopped on a plane straight to Atlanta, where he was the tech manager for our production of the Democratic Debate on Wednesday night. Alongside our friends and partners at Gearhouse, we provided extensive production, transmission, and event management services for The Washington Post. Strategic Television project manager, Eric Hall, was there in person to ensure production and transmission via fiber and satellite (with a hop at PIT) went well, and senior engineer Craig Henry was in the uplink truck, guaranteeing a rock solid satellite transmission. And let’s not forget about our News Group team, who was also there in full force for CNN. Lorenzo Dottori, Scott Garber, and Charlie Neiswenter were there, too. We love it when our divisions can mingle on a big event, and it’s quite a sight when so many of the most skilled and experienced transmission experts in the world are in the same place. It was a great event, and we are already looking forward to the next big debate in LA, where we will be at the center of it all again.
Still more action out West. Larry Sheets is back at Fantasy Springs Casino in Indio for another Golden Boy Boxing on DAZN fight on Saturday night. Larry’s there for transmission, while Mark Huss will be ringside to provide audio support to international broadcasters. Andrew “El Chango” Cancio will take on Rene “Gemelo” Alvarado in the main event on Saturday night.
Here in LA, Chris Hovden is all set up on the event deck outside the Microsoft Theatre, where the 2019 American Music Awards will air live on ABC Sunday night. Chris and his large aperture C-band truck will provide the network backhaul. Right next to him, Wes Hill has a Ku truck set up to receive an inbound feed from a live remote performance. That concert footage will come from Boston, where Mati Kerpen and Strategic Television VP, Jason Land, will be handling transmission and coordination there on the ground for Dick Clark Productions. In LA, GM Clint Bergeson put on his project manager uniform to fill in for Michael Hollander on Friday’s international test (Michael, as you’ll recall, is in Vegas for the PPV). Michael’s back in LA for the show on Sunday, and will be making sure that music fans around the world can watch this exciting live show, which features live performances by Taylor Swift, Green Day, Billie Eilish, and more.
Let’s finish up with some basketball, including a couple of transmissions from Paradise.
Conway, SC isn’t quite paradise, but it’s pretty nice this time of year. That’s where Dave Buckman will be spending his weekend, as ESPN has there for multiple transmission days of the Myrtle Beach Invitational, live from Coastal Carolina University through Sunday.
Rick Ball and Steve Chaisson have found their way to Hawaii, where they’ll be providing a multiplexed transmission of the Maui Invitational basketball tournament for our friends at ESPN.
Meanwhile, Justin Roszak heads to the Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas early next week for ESPN’s broadcasts of the Battle 4 Atlantis basketball tournament all week long. The PSSI Global Services footprint extends well beyond the mainland, to say the least!