Well, it’s official. We’ve done our first uplink in the snow in 2019. Winter’s here!
Kevin Spangler drew the short straw for a last-minute live shot from the Air Force Academy’s Falcon Stadium. Kevin grabbed a C-band truck and headed to Colorado Springs, where the conditions were pretty rough on Thursday. All went perfectly, of course, and we were glad to be there for our friends at MLB.
Kevin’s going to hang around and work with CBS Sports Network on Saturday for the game at Falcon Stadium between Air Force and Fresno State. The weather looks a little better, to say the least, and it should be a great game!
Not far up the road from Kevin, Joe Cox is in the NT30 outside Ironman offices in Boulder. Joe’s on the receiving end of a huge show in Kailua-Kona: the 2019 Ironman World Championships. This is an event we do every year, and it seems every year we get more deeply involved with the production and transmission. Tracy Michaels is tech managing this entire show this year, handling production, multiple RF feeds, and much more for our friends at NBC and ASO. Ironman veteran (and senior VP of engineering) Brian Nelles is on a flyaway antenna for the main feed, and senior Strategic Television project manager, Eric Hall, is back to coordinate all inbound and outbound transmission. And Colorado-based Mike Sheehan is in our NT32 truck – based full time in Hawaii, by the way – providing yet another remote feed into the main production. Good timing for Mike to get out of the snow in Colorado and into the Hawaiian sun!
Back across the ocean, Chris Hovden was a little busier than expected in Los Angeles this week. On Thursday night he was back at LA Center Studios for another episode of Chasing the Cure, live on TBS and TNT. This is the last live show for us for this season, and it has been a great run on a really interesting show.
That was all well and good, but then the fires started. Chris got the call in the wee hours to grab our LA Sprinter and head toward Porter Ranch for CNN’s coverage of the wind-fueled Saddleridge Fire. There aren’t too many guys faster than Chris when it comes to setting up a truck in a breaking news situation, and he’s been working in smoky, but safe, conditions all day. Nice work out there!
A few of our PSSI News Group engineers remain on standby for CNN should conditions worsen, while most of the rest of the guys will travel to Ohio for the next CNN Democratic candidate debate on Tuesday.
Our other California-based engineers are on the road with calmer schedules. Larry Sheets is up in Eugene, OR for Fox’s broadcast of the game between the Colorado Buffaloes and the Oregon Ducks on Friday night.
Not too far west from Larry we have Sacramento-based Steve Chaisson, who will be doing an at-home transmission for ESPN’s broadcast of the game between Boise State and the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors, live from Albertson’s Stadium in Boise.
Wes Hill is on his way to Tucson, AZ for still more football on Fox. He’s at Arizona Stadium for UA’s game against the Washington Huskies on Saturday night.
And John Jennings is all the way in Albuquerque, NM for Friday night’s matchup between the New Mexico Lobos and the Rams of Colorado State, live from Dreamstyle Stadium.
More football nationwide, as usual. David Meyer continues his weekly high school football games with back-to-back action in the Seattle area. On Thursday he was at Todd Beamer high school in Federal Way, and Friday night’s game between O’dea and Eastside Catholic is in Sammamish. Big thanks to our friends at Rush Media for including us in this football package!
Dave “Mitch” Mitchell has more Friday Night Lights live from Western PA. This week Mitch is at Knoch High School in Saxonburg, where the Knights will host New Castle.
Fox’s 4K game of the week is at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, where the Golden Gophers take on the Nebraska Cornhuskers in some Big 10 action. 4K guru Rick Varney is there alongside Steve Hagerty for dual C-band transmissions in UHD and HD. Next week: back to Lubbock!
Speaking of Texas, we have a lot going on in the Lone Star State. It’s the Red River Shootout, live on Fox Saturday, as the Oklahoma Sooners and Texas Longhorns match up at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas. John May’s there in the CK48 mobile teleport for the game transmission, while Alex Mestizo and senior engineer Mike Lemieux have a flyaway antenna for Fox’s extended desk show. We’re all set up on Lone Star Boulevard between the Texas Hall of State and the Esplanade, right where the State Fair of Texas will open up on Saturday night. It’s been a rainy setup day for both locations, but our guys are ready to roll for a big time weekend of college football festivities.
And not too far down the road, the SEC game of the week on CBS will take place at Texas A&M’s Kyle Field on Saturday afternoon. Rick Ball’s already there and already checked in with CBS, and the game between the Aggies and the Alabama Crimson Tide will have plenty of eyeballs watching Rick’s handiwork.
Still more action in Texas: golf, not football. Ron “Roadrunner” Ford is officially part of our intrepid Golf Channel rotation, and he has C21 at the Golf Club of Houston in Humble, TX. It’s the Houston Open, and Ron will be there through play on Sunday (and maybe longer if the weather keeps up).
Golf Channel mainstay, Craig Henry, is live from the Prestonwood Country Club in Cary, NC, where Golf Channel is covering the SAS Championship. From there Craig will drive a little north for some TLC on the C31 and boxing on ESPN next weekend.
Blake Blomstrom’s heading to French Lick, IN this weekend for the Senior LPGA Championship next week, live from the Pete Dye Course at the French Lick Resort. It’s a rare Monday-to-Thursday tournament, and Blake will head right into some football the following weekend.
It’s a busy weekend in Florida for us again. After another successful Pat McAfee show in Raleigh, NC for our friends at DAZN, Dave Buckman headed down to Raymond James Stadium in Tampa for the game between UCF and BYU on CBS Sports Network Saturday afternoon.
Also in Tampa on Saturday night: UFC on ESPN+, live from Amalie Arena. UFC veterans Garrett Hunt and Jim Flowers meet up with Dennis Smith and Mike Howley on C-band and Ku-band trucks for this big event. Garrett will ensure our transmissions are perfect domestically and around the world (with a hop at the PSSI International Teleport), while Jim will interface with our partners at Concom to ensure production and transmission are in lockstep. Joanna Jędrzejczyk takes on Michelle Waterson in the main event. It’s sure to be a great night of UFC action!
More fighting back West, where Brian Blomstrom has the newly rewired NT31 at Mandalay Bay for the Professional Fighters League MMA Playoffs. Brian is transmitting multiple outbound feeds to the PSSI International Teleport, where they will be re-encoded and routed to multiple streaming outlets, ESPN2, and international licensees.
Also in Vegas on Friday night: WWE Friday Night SmackDown, the second to be aired on Fox. Zane Michaels is there at the T-Mobile Arena with the CK30 mobile teleport to manage multiple inbound and outbound transmissions for our friends at WWE. From there, driver Devon Porter will pilot the 30 to Denver for Monday Night RAW while Joe Kelderhouse takes a well-deserved vacation.
Let’s finish up with a little racing, live from the Talladega Superspeedway all weekend. Jonathan Ayala and Kyle Meyer are at the helm of the C27 mobile teleport, providing NASCAR with multiple feeds via satellite and fiber, as well as data for the entire TV compound via the AT&T GVS network. As always, the PSSI International Teleport is a critical link in the chain, providing multiple hub services for NASCAR as we race toward Sunday’s Geico 500, the latest race in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.
And Justin Roszak is back at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta for the season’s final IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race. This has been another great season of IMSA for Justin and our team at PIT, providing up to 30 video paths and hundreds of audios via satellite for NASCAR’s complex production. Abi Falcon’s coming up to help Justin pack up a van full of encoding and multiplexing equipment for re-deployment across the fleet until next season. Great job, guys!
That’s about it for yet another busy weekend at PSSI Global Services, the world’s leader in live events, transmission, and connectivity.
Thanks for reading!