We’d like to kick off the roundup this week with a hearty congratulations to NYC-based engineer Mati Kerpen! He and his wife, Kerry, are the proud parents of a healthy baby girl. How soon before she gets into an uplink truck?
It won’t be this week, since Mati’s truck is going to be commandeered by Steve Hagerty. We got a last-second call from a customer needing transmission services at the United Nations General Assembly this weekend, and Hagerty immediately pointed the truck he was driving through Canada south to be in position this weekend for what will be a week’s worth of coverage of the 73rd General Assembly. Thanks to Steve and Marc Sarazin for the hustle in getting there.
Before this excitement, Steve was up in Quebec City at the Videotron Centre on Thursday. Can you believe it’s already time for NHL hockey? The Montreal Canadiens beat the Washington Capitals in some exciting preseason action, and Steve was there for our friends at NBC.
The rest of our sports lineup this weekend is a little more seasonally appropriate, with a little racing, a lot of golf and a ton of football. But we’ve also got an interesting set of special events going on across the country.
Dennis Smith NT21 will be at the Xfinity Theatre in Hartford, Connecticut, this weekend for Farm Aid, an annual benefit concert for family farmers.
It’s a big concert in Vegas this weekend, too, where John Bright is handling production and transmission services out of our K34 production truck at the iHeartRadio Music Festival featuring Fleetwood Mac, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Kelly Clarkson, Logic, Imagine Dragons, Carrie Underwood, Panic! At The Disco, Shawn Mendes, Luke Bryan and more. John might have his earplugs in, but thanks to his good work, music fans around the world can enjoy the show as though they were there in person.
Brian Blomstrom and Eric Storlie are about to embark on an interesting adventure. The two guys head toward the Grand Canyon in the CK35 mobile teleport this weekend. Their precise location is unknown, but they’ll be near Hellhole Bend, which is just as hospitable as it sounds. And why would we be there? To help Will Smith celebrate his 50th birthday, of course! The famous actor will be bungee jumping from a helicopter over the Grand Canyon, and Brian and Eric will be there to ensure the whole world can see the jump on YouTube. We’re also providing phones and data via satellite out of the mighty CK35 with some help from PSSI International Teleport. This is an invaluable service when you’re a long way away from civilization!
Things are a little calmer here in LA over the weekend. It’s time for another LA Opera at the Beach. We’re very excited to be providing uplink and downlink services yet again for this great event, which is a great chance for opera fans around the city to enjoy a world-class production in the great outdoors. Mark Huss is at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in downtown Los Angeles to provide the origination feed. John Jennings is setting up shop at the iconic Santa Monica pier for the viewing party there, and Jose Sanchez will bring in Mark’s signal at El Cariso Park in Sylmar (his very own neighborhood). Project manager Michael Hollander, fresh off an intense weekend of Canelo/GGG and the Emmys, will ensure each location has what it needs for a successful show. This year it’s Verdi’s “Don Carlo,” featuring the inimitable Plácido Domingo in the title role. What a treat for opera fans in LA!
It’s a big weekend for Microsoft in Orlando, Florida, and we are there to provide them with the impeccable transmission services they’ve come to expect over the years. Steve Toth, with some help from Abi Falcon, has the big antenna on C12 all set up and ready to go for Monday’s introductory keynote speech at the 2018 Microsoft Ignite event at the Orange County Convention Center. The event has been sold out for quite some time, so Steve’s transmission is key for all who couldn’t make it and plan to watch CEO Satya Nadella on their own devices.
The last non-sporting event we have on our schedules is — you’ll never guess — live surgery! Rick Kolinek will be at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, while Benny Griffis is back at the Wellmont Holston Valley Medical Center in Kingsport, Tennessee. Both guys will be transmitting HD feeds of live surgeries to surgeons in other locations.
OK, back to sports! How about some golf?
Chris Golden and C23 are at Atlantic Beach Country Club in Atlantic Beach, Florida, this week for the WEB.com Tour Championship, with a total purse of $1 million.
Earlier in the week, Kevin Spangler and C45 were at the Ritz-Carlton in Atlanta, Georgia, for the PGA 2018 Payne Stewart Award. This annual award is given to a professional golfer that best exemplifies Payne Stewart’s steadfast values of character, charity and sportsmanship. Congrats to Bernhard Langer, this year’s winner of this prestigious award.
Just up the road, Blake Blomstrom and C31 are at the East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta, Georgia, this week for finale of the 2017-2018 PGA Tour — the Tour Championship, a par 70, stroke play tournament with a prize purse of over $8.5 million. Blake wraps up on Sunday … unless there’s another playoff!
Much, much further up the road, Dave Brin and the Frontline truck are at Minnehaha Country Club in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, for the Sanford International. Golf legends like Steve Stricker, Scott McCarron and John Daly are there for what will surely be an incredible week of golf.
And then there’s football. Not just on Saturdays anymore! We’ve got Thursday and Friday night lights…
David Meyer and K20 were at Eastside Catholic School on Thursday when the Crusaders took on the Rainier Beach Vikings in Sammamish, Washington. On Friday night, Dave Mitchell and the Arizona truck are at Upper St. Clair High School when the Panthers take on the Indians from West Allegheny High School on Friday night. High school football is big in western Pennsylvania, and nobody knows that better than Mitch!
We also have a couple big college games on Friday night. 4K guru Rick Varney joins forces with Joe Cox at Memorial Stadium at the University of Illinois in Champaign when the Penn State Nittany Lions face the Illinois Fighting Illini. Both trucks are transmitting multiplexed 4K/HD signals for our friends at Fox. Meanwhile, Nick Ray and C41 will be at Brown Stadium in Providence, Rhode Island, when the Harvard Crimson take on the Brown University Bears. Nick has a special transmission of his own, as he’s uplinking a seven-path multiplexed signal of an “at-home” production that will be completed at ESPN headquarters down the road in Connecticut.
On Saturday, Gary O’Donovan is getting back into the uplink game as he introduces one of our new and improved news group trucksto the football circuit. Gary and NT22 are in Charlottesville, Virginia, where the Louisville Cardinals take on the Virginia Cavaliers. Gary did quite a bit of the upgrades on NT22 himself while working at our Orlando shop over the past few months. He knows the truck like the back of his hand. From Virginia, he’ll head up to our Boston-area headquarters, where the truck will take up permanent residence.
Just east of Gary, we have Dave Buckman and the Columbia truck at William Price Stadium in Norfolk, Virginia, where the Virginia Tech Hokies defend their home turf against the Old Dominion Monarchs. Dave’s spent the better part of his week in the state of Virginia, so he’ll be glad to get back home to New Jersey on Sunday.
Justin Roszak and C42 will be at the Glass Bowl at the University of Toledo in Ohio when the Nevada Wolf Pack challenge the Toledo Rockets. This is another massive “at-home” transmission for our friends at CBS Sports Network. Justin’s pushing an enormous amount of data over satellite to our teleport which, in turn, delivers the signal to CBS headquarters in NYC via the AT&T Global Video service network.
The SEC on CBS game of the week is at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Senior engineer and Alabama native Rick Ball has been to that stadium once or twice, and he’ll be there again on Saturday afternoon when the Texas A&M Aggies take on the Alabama Crimson Tide, live on CBS.
Craig Henry and CK25 will be at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor when the Nebraska Cornhuskers square off against the Michigan Wolverines. This is the first of a few Saturdays in the great state of Michigan for CK25. Next week: Michigan State football in East Lansing!
John May and Todd Harvey are in the CK48 mobile teleport at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City, Iowa. The Badgers are in town, and both antennas on the truck will be humming for this big game on Fox.
We have another two-antenna showdown in Texas. It’s John Poss with K17 and Mike Sheehan with C43 at Darell K Royal Stadium/Texas Memorial Museum in Austin when the Texas Christian University Horned Frogs battle their biggest local rival, the Texas Longhorns.
Mike Lemieux and the C45 will be at Mountaineer Field at Milan Puskar Stadium in Morgantown, West Virginia, when the Kansas State Wildcats take it on the road against the West Virginia Mountaineers. Mike’s got an at-home transmission of his own to deliver to our friends at ESPN.
The CK30 mobile teleport is taking a pit stop in Stillwater, Oklahoma, after a successful and exciting run of WWE events. Zane Michaels is on hand to cover a little football at Boone Pickens Stadium on Saturday as the Texas Tech Red Raiders are in town to face the Oklahoma State Cowboys. From there, driver Joe Kelderhouse hightails it to Colorado for Monday Night Raw and Tuesday night SmackDown in Denver.
Ray Loyko and DC9 are heading to Missoula, Montana, where the Montana Grizzlies defend their home field advantage against the Sacramento State Hornets. This is the first game in a series of Big Sky football games that we are excited to be doing this year. Ray and DC9 will be back in Montana next week, and then off to games in Spokane and Salt Lake City each Saturday for the rest of the season. We get around!
David Meyer and K20 are heading back across the border to Thunderbird Stadium in Vancouver, British Colubia, when the Thunderbirds of the University of British Columbia take on the Calgary Dinos in some Canadian college football.
After last weekend’s huge fight in Vegas, things are little calmer on the fighting front. Ron Ford and K26 will be at FireLake Arena in Shawnee, Oklahoma, for Showtime boxing on Saturday. The main event will be Jon Fernandez taking on O’Shaquie Foster in the super featherweight division and Irvin Gonzalez battling Carlos Ramos in 10 rounds of featherweight action.
A little bit further away than that, project manager Garrett Hunt and senior engineer Jim Flowers are back in Brazil, teaming up with our friends at Casablanca Online and Concom for some exciting UFC action. The guys are back at the Ginásio de Ibirapuera in Sao Paolo for Saturday night’s UFC Fight Night 137, which will feature Thiago Santos versus Eryk “Ya Boi” Anders in the main event.
And last, but never least, we are racing. Ben Bradshaw and Kyle Meyer are at the helm of C27 after its long drive from Las Vegas at Richmond International Raceway in Virginia. It’s NASCAR’s first-ever Playoff Race Weekend. The highlights of this action-packed weekend include the Go Bowling 250 NASCAR Xfinity Series race and the Federated Auto Parts 400 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race.
Whew, what a week. And we’re thrilled to report that it doesn’t look like things will slow down any time soon!