It has been a busy week. Our own senior vice president, Brian Nelles, was on the big island of Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, for the Ironman competition with our grip truck and flyaway antenna. Long-time friend of PSSI Global Services, Curtis Colin, was also there to help get our equipment together and set up for the uplink. Brian goes over for this big endurance race every year to transmit the event to broadcasters around the world.
On the other side of the world, Jim Flowers and Keith Valeri are getting set alongside our trusted partners at Mobile Links for the first ever UFC event in Gdańsk, Poland, at the Ergo Arena. Jim spent about 22 hours in transit to Poland from his home base in Phoenix, but he hasn’t missed a beat as they prep for worldwide distribution. Due to many scheduling conflicts and contract issues, the lineup has changed a few times, but the world will be tuning in from the undercards to the main event: Cerrone vs. Till.
Just down the road, senior engineer Mike Lemieux is at the SSE Arena in Belfast, Ireland, for HBO Boxing on Saturday. This event is being referred to as the “IBF and WBA world bantamweight unification,” with the undefeated Ryan Burnett facing Zhanat Zhakiyanov in the ring. It should be a great fight!
Back across the pond, our domestic HBO team will be downlinking Lemieux’s signal from Ireland as they prepare for a fight night of their own. Brothers Paul and Blake Blomstrom join Nick Ray, John Foley and project manager Eric Hall at the Turning Stone Casino in Verona, New York, for the WBA Super World Super Featherweight Title fight between Jezreel “El Invisible” Corrales of Panama and unified NABO and NABA Super Featherweight Champion Alberto “Explosivo” Machado of Puerto Rico. Project manager Michael Hollander and the PSSI International Teleport (PIT) are also working to deliver feeds to Panama and China. What a group effort!
There’s plenty more fighting on our schedules, as well. Brian Blomstrom was at the Park Theater inside the Monte Carlo Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, with the K19 truck on Thursday for Golden Boy Boxing on ESPN. The title bout between two experienced middleweight contenders, Gabriel “King” Rosado and Glen “Jersey Boy” Tapia, was full of nonstop action, which Brian multiplexed and transmitted to ESPN, ESPN Deportes and international viewers worldwide.
Mati Kerpen will be at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey, with our Junior truck for Saturday’s World Boxing Super Series. The main event is the cruiserweight quarterfinals, where IBF champion Murat “Iron” Gassiev faces off against former world champion Krzysztof Wlodarczyk, hoping to take the win. We’re providing the transmission services for our friends at Mobile Links, who you’ll recall are also working with us in Poland. Our international partnerships put the “Global” in PSSI Global Services!
The weekend of fighting culminates in this weekend’s WWE pay-per-view: Tables, Ladders & Chairs, live from the Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on Sunday night. Highlights of this weekend’s event are expected to be The Shield vs. The Miz in the main event stipulation match, as well as the Cruiserweight Championship match between Kalisto and Enzo Amore and the Women’s Championship where challenger Alexa Bliss takes on Mickie James. WWE veterans Logan Schinto and Zane Michaels will be working hard to provide total transmission services for our friends at WWE, and Devon Porter will be there to hustle the CK30 up to Green Bay for Monday Night Raw and Milwaukee for Tuesday’s WWE SmackDown.
You might have guessed that we’re also covering some football this weekend.
Justin Roszak is heading to Bobby Dodd Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia, where the Wake Forest University Demon Deacons visit the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. Justin’s providing a 10-channel at-home transmission of the game over fiber with one of our state-of-the-art fiber encoding kits.
John Bright’s doing very much the same thing at Northwestern’s Ryan Field football stadium, where the Iowa State Hawkeyes take on the Wildcats. John is christening our newest fiber encoding kit, which our team of engineers in Las Vegas put together this past week. Tracy Michaels, Matt Huennekens, and Paul and Brian Blomstrom assembled the equipment, made cables, wired and programmed the encoders and multiplexers, and packed it up in five mobile cases for shipment to Chicago. This is without question the finest encoding/decoding/multiplexing/monitoring package in the business, and a testament to PSSI Global Services’s diverse offerings. While our trucks and satellite services are the best in the business, we’re just as well-equipped for fiber transmissions and mobile compression systems.
We’re also leading the industry in 4K/UHD satellite transmissions. This week we are at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City, Utah, where the Utes take on Arizona State. 4K expert Rick Varney is on the scene — as he is every weekend — in C15, while Todd Harvey’s alongside him in the Atlas truck for Fox’s HD feed.
More Army and Navy football this weekend, as well. The C32 truck is heading to Michie Stadium in West Point, New York, with Mike Howley to cover Temple versus Army. It seems like an uphill battle for Temple as they go against the No. 2 rushing team in the country, but they need to push for a win if they have any hopes of playing in a bowl game this season.
Not too far down the road, we have Steve Toth in C41, setting up at Navy-Marine Corps Stadium in Annapolis, Maryland, to cover the UCF Knights versus the Navy Midshipmen. In their first meeting ever, which is being called the best American Conference game this season, the nation’s highest scoring team will face the team with the best rushing offense. Our own CEO Rob Lamb will be on hand at his alma mater for the game. We’re all hoping Rob takes some time to relax with his fellow alumni and perhaps reflect on his recent accomplishment: Rob was named one of the San Fernando Valley’s most influential leaders!
Marty Smitherman’s already uplinking some football, as he’s at Foreman Field at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia, for Friday night’s Old Dominion vs. Western Kentucky game.
Ditto Steve Hagerty, who’s covering high school football Friday night in Western Pennsylvania. It’s Woodland Hills against the West Allegheny Indians live on PA SportsFever in Pittsburgh. Steve was able to spend a couple of days this week at PIT, where Bill Sciolla and company put him right to work! Steve provided some muscle alongside Bill Corbett and John Brenchak as they swung antenna 39 from Galaxy 18 to Eutelsat 113. Nice job, guys!
Also for PA SportsFever, Dennis Smith is at Gregory-Douds Field at Eiler-Martin Stadium in East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, where the Stroudsburg Warriors defend their home field advantage against the Bloomsburg Huskies on Saturday.
Still more Pennsylvania football, as Morgan State visits Howard University in Washington, D.C. Dave Buckman’s on hand for the game at Greene Stadium Saturday afternoon.
At Camp Randall Stadium in Madison, Wisconsin, Rick Kolinek in K22 and Joe Cox in C43 gear up for the game between the Maryland Terrapins and the Wisconsin Badgers. That’s a primary and a backup path for Fox’s coverage of the big game.
We have another primary/backup duo in our dual-antenna CK48. Ron Ford and John May are at Bryan Snyder Family Stadium in Manhattan, Kansas, to televise the big matchup between the Oklahoma Sooners and the Kansas State Wildcats. Ron Ford’s manning the Ku antenna while John May takes care of the C-band feed.
One more double-duty game for Fox: John Poss in the Alabama truck and Kyle Meyer is in C49 at Amon G. Carter Stadium in Fort Worth, Texas, for the TCU Horned Frogs vs. the Kansas Jayhawks.
Not too far from the guys at TCU, Steve Chaisson is setting up C24 at Baylor University, where the Baylor Bears take on the West Virginia Mountaineers on Saturday. Steve flies right back to California after the game to get ready for some NBA basketball in Sacramento.
Last, but certainly not least, it’s the biggest college football game in the South. Senior engineer Rick Ball is in his old stomping grounds at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Rick’s lost count of how many Alabama football games he’s transmitted, but this is sure to be one for the books. The Tennessee Volunteers are in town for the CBS SEC Game of the Week, and the Crimson Tide are ready for them.
And that’s not all!
Shelby Schmidt managed a busy week at the PIT Studio, setting up live shots for Eurovision, CNN, Fox Business News and CBS while orchestrating several corporate videoconferences.
This week’s NASCAR team of Andy Kehn and Jonathan Ayala head to Kansas Speedway in C27 with driver Gerald Gore for the Hollywood Casino 400 this weekend. Our guys will be there for all of the weekend’s races, both antennas humming through Sunday night.
Craig Henry is in Richmond, Virginia, this week with CK25 for coverage of the Dominion Energy Charity Classic at the Country Club of Virginia through Sunday. Proceeds from the charity event will go to benefit the Virginia Values Veterans (V3) program, which helps local veterans find and keep jobs by helping local businesses improve their practices of recruiting, hiring and maintaining veteran employees. From there, Craig hops on a plane to grab C24 from Steve Chaisson and then heads to Jackson, Mississippi, for more golf. Not much rest for one of our most senior engineers!
Larry Sheets heads to the beautiful Harbor Island, near San Diego, California, for Extreme Sailing Series Act 7 as it returns to the U.S. on Sunday. In its 11th season, Extreme Sailing is an adrenaline-packed event designed with the spectator in mind. The races, close to shore, provide the fans with a front row seat to all the action. Larry’s probably going to have the best seat in the house!
Up the freeway in Los Angeles, engineers Nathan Holsey, Mark Huss and Chris Hovden will be setting up at the beautiful Greek Theatre in Griffith Park for Sunday’s season premiere of AMCs “Talking Dead.” Fans of the show will watch the “Walking Dead” season premiere on a big screen at the Greek. A live two-hour “Talking Dead” immediately follows. Project managers Tommy Lopez and Clint Bergeson will be there to help ensure the primary and backup transmission paths go up and out to the world without a hitch.
Cheers to another exciting week!