We’ll start this week in Florida, where we continue to have a large contingent of brave and savvy engineers in the Panhandle covering Hurricane Michael and its aftermath.
Mati Kerpen and Gary O’Donovan weathered the storm in Panama City Beach, as did Scott Garber, Lorenzo Dottori, Michael Humphrey and Charlie Neiswenter for PSSI News Group’s work with CNN. While the hurricane blew by relatively quickly, it’s been a struggle to find power and fresh water. Things were even worse at Mexico Beach, where News Group’s David Conwell and Max Lewis are transmitting back images of the devastation to CNN viewers around the world. This is a seasoned group of engineers — without question the best in the business — and we thank them for their dedication and hard work in terrible conditions.
On either side of Hurricane Michael’s trajectory, the weather’s fine and we have senior engineers working big events. Down in Miami, Chris Golden joined engineer in charge (EIC) Mike Lemieux and Vice President of Special Projects Jason Land at the Manuel Artime Theatre for the premiere of HBO’s “Pod Save America.” Chris is encoding a fiber path and uplinking another via satellite in C23. This is the first in a four-part series of events across the country that features Jon Favreau, Jon Lovett, Dan Pfeiffer and Tommy Vietor talking politics in front of a live audience in advance of the midterm elections.
West of the hurricane, Rick Ball finds himself back in Death Valley (Tiger Stadium) at LSU in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The Tigers host the Georgia Bulldogs in Saturday afternoon’s SEC Game of the Week on CBS. Hopefully Rick has his earplugs, as Tiger Stadium is widely known as the loudest stadium in the SEC. For a game of this magnitude, there’s a good chance the 100,000-plus fans in attendance will be hoarse by the fourth quarter.
That’s among the biggest of several football games on our schedule this weekend. Here’s the rundown:
- David Meyer had some high school football in the Seattle region, where Federal Way hosted Hazen on Thursday night. From there David hustled up across the border to Thunderbird Stadium in Vancouver for the Saskatchewan Huskies versus the UBC Thunderbirds on Friday night.
- We have more big-time high school football in Western Pennsylvania, where Dave Mitchell is back in Monaca for Central Valley versus Hopewell under the Friday night lights.
- Across the state, Dave Buckman’s at Bloomsburg University as the East Stroudsburg Warriors are in town to take on the Huskies in some Division III action on the SPORTSfever network.
- Not too far from Dave, Dennis Smith is in Washington, D.C., where the Howard Bison host the Delaware State Hornets in more SPORTSfever college football action.
- Steve Hagerty’s at UB Stadium at the University of Buffalo when the Akron Zips take on the Buffalo Bulls.
- Jim Flowers is taking a break from his UFC schedule to be at Alumni Stadium at Boston College Saturday when the Louisville Cardinals are in town to battle BC.
- Benny Griffis will wake up early on Saturday morning for the noon game at Ohio Stadium in Columbus, where the Buckeyes host the Minnesota Golden Gophers.
- The 4K game of the week is at Memorial Stadium in Champaign, Illinois. The Fighting Illini host the Purdue Boilermakers on Saturday, and we have Wes Hill and Brian Blomstrom running the C32 and CK25 mobile teleport for Fox’s 4K and HD broadcasts of the big game. 4K guru Rick Varney is taking a well-deserved day off, but will be watching closely from home.
- There’s also another Navy home game on CBS Sports Network for PSSI Global Services. This time it’s Kevin Spangler on C41 in Annapolis, Maryland, as the Temple Owls are in town to take on the Midshipmen.
- Steve Chaisson’s in Ames, Iowa, for Saturday’s game at Jack Trice Stadium. The Iowa State Cyclones host the West Virginia Mountaineers on the Fox networks.
- Steve Toth’s at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville for Saturday’s Cavaliers game. Steve will be encoding and multiplexing 10 channels of video for distribution via fiber back to ESPN headquarters in Connecticut.
- Another “at-home” transmission for ESPN: Todd Harvey and C47 will transmit 10 multiplexed videos over satellite back to ESPN on Saturday from Provo, Utah. The Hawaii Rainbow Warriors are in town to take on the BYU Cougars.
- Up the road from Utah, Ray Loyko’s back at it in Bozeman, Montana. The Montana State Bobcats host the Idaho Vandals on Saturday in another one of the Big Sky Conference games we’re broadcasting for Root Sports.
A few of our college football regulars are mixing it up this weekend. John May has his CK48 truck at the CHI Health Center in Omaha, Nebraska, for a big fight on ESPN. It’s Terence Crawford versus Jose Benavidez Jr. in the main event on Saturday night, with a whole host of undercards leading up to the big fight. Rick Kolinek and senior project manager David Gallardo join John to provide the international feed out of CK48’s Ku-band antenna. This signal will be turned at multiple teleports — including PSSI International Teleport — for distribution to boxing fans around the world.
Mike Howley is headed to New Hampshire in C45. Mike will be spending a week enjoying the autumn leaves for the BBC’s “Autumnwatch New England.” Beginning Monday, Mike will provide live transmission services for BBC Two as well as the live streaming on their website. We’re looking forward to some beautiful pictures of the truck amongst the trees near Camp Deerwood outside Holderness. And maybe a selfie or two, as well?
In golf news, Craig Henry’s in Cary, North Carolina, at the Prestonwood Country Club for the SAS Championship through the weekend. Larry Sheets also returns to Golf Channel work beginning Sunday. Larry’s going to be spending a few days at the French Lick Resort in Indiana covering the LPGA Championship there.
Justin Roszak is at Road Atlanta in Braselton, Georgia, for what will be the final IMSA race of the year for our friends at NASCAR. This season Justin and Rick Ball raised the bar of what’s possible with data over satellite, as for each race they pushed 28 videos and hundreds of audio channels over satellite back to NASCAR headquarters in Charlotte with minimal latency. What these guys were able to accomplish out of a single antenna this season is unprecedented in the business, and we are already looking forward to pushing it even further with our partners at NASCAR next year.
Our C27 mobile teleport keeps on trucking with our select group of NASCAR engineers. This weekend we have Ben Bradshaw and Kyle Meyer at the Talladega Superspeedway for the Fr8Auctions 250 truck race and the Monster Energy Series 1000Bulbs.com 500. Our guys are the origination for the broadcast via AT&T Global Video Services fiber, and we’ll also be providing extensive satellite backup paths. It’s sure to be an exciting weekend of racing!
Still more racing in Vegas. Joe Cox is at Sam Boyd Stadium for the Monster Energy AMA Supercross events over the weekend.
Also in Vegas, Mark Huss is at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino to provide ringside commentary services for our friends at Turner Argentina. It’s Angel Acosta versus Abraham Rodriguez in the main event on Saturday night.
Paul Blomstrom’s also busy with some fighting in Vegas. He’ll be at the Rio on Friday night for the Final Fight Championship at the Rio’s Fight Dome.
In LA, John Jennings is downtown at the Belasco Theater Friday night for yet another installment of LA Fight Club. Project manager Michael Hollander, who’s been putting these together for a couple of years, will join John to make sure everything’s hunky-dory for our friends at Liberman Broadcasting.
Not far from downtown in Echo Park, Chris Hovden’s going to get set up on Sunday at Dodger Stadium for games three and four of the MLB National League Championship Series between the Dodgers and the Milwaukee Brewers. Chris has a multiplexed 4K/HUD uplink of his own for these games on Fox Sports 1, and you can bet all of our LA staff will be watching closely and pulling for the home team!
Much, much further west, Tracy Michaels, Eric Hall and Brian Nelles are plenty busy setting up for the IRONMAN World Championship in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. Our guys have a pretty elaborate configuration with multiple relays along with backhaul and international distribution of this exciting event. Back at IRONMAN headquarters in Boulder, Colorado, Mike Sheehan is there to take in the feeds from Hawaii (via PSSI International Teleport). It is truly a total team effort to bring the action to triathlon fans worldwide.
From coast to coast (and then some), it’s yet another busy, exciting and challenging weekend for PSSI Global Services, PSSI News Group and PSSI International Teleport. We’re firing on all cylinders!