This week began in the wee hours Monday morning with several phone calls from news organizations looking for coverage in Las Vegas. Our PSSI Global Services and News Group engineers were quickly on the scene of what turned out to be the deadliest mass shooting in American history.
In the meantime, our entire company waited on pins and needles while our Vegas-based employees checked in and marked themselves safe. Our team’s work there is secondary, of course, to the suffering of so many who lost loved ones in the Mandalay Bay Massacre. But we are so appreciative of our engineers’ extraordinary professionalism and endurance while working through this horrible tragedy. Matt Huennekens, Joe Cox, Ray Loyko, Al Meshberg, David Conwell, Michael Humphrey, Steven Mills, Bob Tweed, and brothers Paul and Brian Blomstrom delivered up-to-the-minute news to viewers all over the world, around the clock.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to everyone who was affected by this terrible event. From all of us in Las Vegas: “We were there for you through the good times. Thank you for being there for us now.”
Some of the same guys who put in long hours at the beginning of the week are back to their regular schedules as another UFC pay-per-view takes shape at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Engineer in charge (EIC) Tracy Michaels is leading the charge alongside project manager Garrett Hunt as we prepare our CK35 mobile teleport, C15 and Midwest truck for total transmission services for UFC 216: Ferguson vs. Lee. UFC veteran Jim Flowers joins Ray Loyko and Brian Blomstrom to round out our ace crew. No doubt emotions will run high as the city of Las Vegas tries to get back into its normal routine of world-class entertainment, and our team is ready to help show viewers around the world how quickly this great city will recover.
Throughout the rest of the country, it comes as no surprise that we have a lot of football on our schedules this weekend.
Dave Mitchell kicks things off in our Pittsburgh truck as he heads to Aliquippa High School, where the Clairton High School Bears will take on the Quips in a non-conference game on Friday night.
Georgia-based engineer Marty Smitherman is also spending the weekend in Pennsylvania. He was in East Stroudsburg Thursday night, when the Warriors hosted the Marauders of Millersville University. From there he heads to Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania, for a double-header of field hockey and football on homecoming weekend for the Bloomsburg University Huskies. It’s an exciting sports weekend in Pennsylvania!
Just down the road in Annapolis, Nick Ray is setting up C42 for the big Air Force vs. Navy rivalry game at the Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium. The game is live on CBS Sports Network Saturday afternoon.
Rick Ball, director of broadcast sports for PSSI Global Services, is back in Gainesville, Florida, for the SEC Game of the Week on CBS. The Gators host LSU at the Swamp, and it’s homecoming weekend for the University of Florida. This game will not disappoint!
Steve Hagerty will be in Syracuse, New York, with K18 on Saturday for more college football when the Syracuse Orange host the Pittsburgh Panthers at the Carrier Dome. Steve has been at the Dome many times with our friends from Raycom Media, and he’s looking forward to the game as much as all the fans who will be watching his signal.
We also have a few multipath “at-home” transmissions for our partners at ESPN this weekend. Justin Roszak and Marc Sarazin are setting up at Rentschler Field in East Hartford, Connecticut, where UCONN hosts Memphis. Marc and Justin will be transmitting via satellite a multiplexed signal of 10 cameras back to ESPN headquarters just down the road in Bristol, where the production team there will produce the show. From there Justin continues on to Boston College, where he will engineer another at-home transmission, this time via fiber. BC hosts Virginia Tech live from Alumni Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Down the road in Greenville, North Carolina, Kevin Spangler is setting up CK25 at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium for a seven-channel multiplexed transmission of the East Carolina vs. Temple football game on Saturday. Kevin will leave the truck in North Carolina for Craig Henry to pick up for next week’s golf tournament: the SAS Championship in Cary.
Blake Blomstrom’s in West Lafayette, Indiana, for yet another at-home transmission for ESPN. Here the Purdue Boilermakers host the Minnesota Golden Gophers, and Blake will be sending 10 multiplexed cameras back to Bristol for full production services.
A special shout-out to Gavin Williams in our Shrewsbury office for pulling together some complicated paperwork to make sure our guys in the field have all the information they need to provide ESPN with impeccable transmission services.
Fox is also keeping us busy this weekend, and that’s the way we like it! Benny Griffis with C24 and Rick Varney with C49 head to Austin, Texas, for more college football Saturday at University of Texas, where the Kansas State Wildcats take on the Texas Longhorns. Benny’s handling the HD transmission for Fox, while Rick will be uplinking a 4K/UHD signal to all the viewers lucky enough to have a 4K setup in their very own homes. New-to-PSSI employee Lance Banks will also be watching from one of our new 4K Quality Control (QC) Stations at the PSSI International Teleport (PIT). Lance and our team at the teleport are another essential link in the chain ensuring a flawless broadcast to all the affiliates downstream from the origination in Texas.
Up the road in Norman, Oklahoma, John May and Ron Ford are setting up at Memorial Stadium, where the Sooners host the Iowa State Cyclones. Ron and John are manning C-band and Ku-band transmissions out of our CK48 truck. John and the 48 are back in Oklahoma next week, just up the road in Stillwater.
Still further up the road, Steve Chaisson is at another Memorial Stadium, this one in Lawrence, Kansas. The Jayhawks host Texas Tech on Saturday afternoon, and Steve will be transmitting every second of the action. We stay busy in the central U.S.!
John Bright is back from a much-deserved vacation this week, and he and C32 are at the Horseshoe in Columbus, Ohio, where the Buckeyes host the Maryland Terrapins, live on Fox. That truck is going to hang around the region in anticipation of some MLB postseason action, as the Cleveland Indians are looking good to continue their run at the World Series.
All the way out west, Mike Sheehan is on C47 in Eugene, Oregon, where the Ducks host Washington State in a friendly neighboring state rivalry. Mike has been on quite a run, squeezing in some WWE action in between weekend football games all over the country. He’s one of many road warriors who spend a lot of time on airplanes and highways making sure that our customers and their audiences get all the live television they can handle.
Todd Harvey is most certainly one of these road warriors, but this week he just happens to be in his hometown! Mr. Harvey’s at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City on Saturday for the Stanford vs. Utah match-up. He won’t be home for long, as he’ll take the Atlas truck to its home in Vegas before flying forward to Texas for next weekend’s action.
While we’re on the subject of engineers on the road, we have to mention what Mike Howley has been up to the last couple of weeks. Based in New Hampshire, Mike traveled down to Orlando, Florida, on Sept. 19 for back-to-back corporate events (for which Mike was the EIC, by the way). When he noticed we had a golf tournament in Atlantic Beach, Florida, he volunteered to run up there for us since he was already in the state. He then went BACK to Orlando on Oct. 3 to finish up the multi-truck corporate event. He flies home on Saturday, at long last, to his wife and home for some R&R (and hopefully some laundry). Big thanks to Mike for making this run for us, and to all our guys for sacrificing time with their loved ones to keep our company running.
We’ve also got soccer, volleyball and even hockey on the docket this weekend! Dave Buckman in K46 will head to Thompson Field at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia, where the Hokies Men’s Soccer team will host their Atlantic Coast Conference opponent Louisville.
Next up we have Rick Kolinek and K22 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, for Major League Soccer. The Minnesota United FC Loons will host the Sporting Kansas City Wizards at TCF Bank Stadium on Saturday night. For Minnesota, a win would secure their spot in the Western Conference Finals. For the Wizards, a win would bring them one step closer to the 2017 Audi MLS Cup Playoffs.
All the way out in San Jose, Dave Feustel is setting his truck up at Avaya Stadium for the international friendly match between Chivas and Club Leon.
Quite a bit farther South in Coral Gables, Florida, Dennis Smith and K44 will be covering volleyball at the University of Miami’s Knight Sports Complex, as the lady Hurricanes host the Pitt Panthers.
Is it really time for hockey already? It is for John Poss. He’s at the H-E-B Center in Cedar Park, Texas, for the Season Opener of the AHL Season. This weekend the Chicago Wolves will drop the puck on their season against the Texas Stars on Friday and Saturday.
Plenty of racing, too, naturally!
Kyle Meyer is at Road Atlanta track in Braselton, Georgia, with C12 for the NASCAR IMSA race this weekend that includes the FOX Factory 120 Continental Tire Challenge and the Motul Petit Le Mans WeatherTech Championship.
Ben Bradshaw and Jonathan Ayala have been on the C27 all week getting set for Saturday’s race at the Charlotte Motor Speedway. Next week: Talladega!
It’s a pay-per-view (PPV) weekend for our other tractor-trailer mobile teleport, the CK30. Terry Glover’s getting the truck safely to Little Caesars Arena in Detroit, Michigan, where WWE engineer Zane Michaels and project manager Logan Schinto will oversee the massive Hell in a Cell PPV on Sunday night.
And that’s still not all. Our News Group engineers, PIT teleport operators and Shelby Schmidt at the PIT Studio have been busy making and delivering live news, direct-to-home religious and ethnic broadcasting, and corporate videoconferencing to satisfied customers all week, and will continue cranking out the content day in and day out. We have such a diverse, talented and dedicated group of employees hard at work under the PSSI Global Services umbrella. Still more to come!