Waiting for the final numbers to come in, but we are heading into what may be the busiest weekend in the history of PSSI Global Services! Every available engineer and project manager is booked across the country (and in Canada and Mexico). What a weekend!
Strategic Television project manager, Michael Hollander, is our entry point to the weekend. Michael’s keeping quite a few plates spinning, to say the least! This has been the first of three weeks’ worth of uplink and downlink services for our friends at Cramer for large-scale corporate events. Michael and EIC Mike Howley have been working closely with Cramer for weeks to put this all together, and that preparation is paying off as the first batch of events is going off without a hitch. Chris Hovden, Dave Brin, John Jennings, Joe Cox, Wes Hill, and Larry Sheets have trucks parked at some of the finest luxury resorts in California and Arizona, sending and receiving video amongst each other flawlessly.
We’ll do very much the same thing in Florida and Georgia over the next two weeks, so our Orlando shop has been working overtime to get things ready. Michael’s already cranked out work orders for next week, and will keep tabs on all the engineers at all the different sites.
In the meantime, Michael’s been getting ready for the 71st Primetime Emmy Awards! As he does every year, Michael manages the international distribution of the big awards ceremony, live from the Microsoft Theater in downtown Los Angeles. He’s already distributed the transmission paperwork to licensees around the world, and will check in with all of them during test day and show day. On Friday, he’s there to help Mark Huss park and set up the origination truck. Earlier in the day – much earlier, in the wee hours – Mark Huss, Jose Sanchez, and project manager Eric Storlie had that very same truck parked about a block away to provide Turner Latin America with a satellite media tour, live from the Red Carpet. And don’t forget about PSSI News Group. David Conwell will be there for CNN’s coverage of the Emmys, as well.
Earlier in the week, Michael, Mark, and Jose helped put together another boxing satellite media tour, this one with Canelo Alvarez. Our friends at Golden Boy Promotions are promoting the big fight between Canelo and Sergey Kovalev on November 2, and we were there to provide audio and satellite services for multiple interviews nationwide. Once he finished up at the downtown hotel where the tour took place, Canelo headed down to Union Station, where he held an exciting live press conference to promote the fight. And guess what? We were there, too! Project manager Eric Hall joined Paul Blomstrom, Alex Mestizo, and Mark Alston early that morning to set up a multi-camera production out of our K34 production/uplink hybrid for our friends at DAZN. Our team was locked and loaded by the time Canelo arrived, and the show was perfect.
OK, back to the Emmys. While Michael and Mark are getting set for the international show, Chris Hovden will be working with Fox to provide the transmission pathway for the big pre-show on Sunday, with testing on Saturday afternoon.
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg as far as our California events this weekend.
After finishing up the Canelo presser, Paul grabbed another C-band truck and took it down to LA Center Studios for yet another successful installment of Chasing the Cure, live on the Turner networks.
On Friday, Paul’s heading to Bakersfield to get set up for another Premier Boxing Champions on Fox event, this one live from the Rabobank Theater on Saturday night. It’s Victor Ortiz versus Saul Corral in the main event, with a host of undercards populating each channel of Paul’s three-channel mux. Old Michael Hollander has his hands in this event, as well, as he’s arranged to take one of those feeds in at the PSSI International Teleport and turn to multiple international licensees.
We had to bring yet another Vegas-based engineer to LA for this busy weekend. Matt Huennekens is in town, live on CK35, all set up at the LA Coliseum for the Friday night football game between the Utah Utes and the USC Trojans.
More multiplexing in SoCal on Sunday, as Larry Sheets and Wes Hill will have the CK35 mobile teleport at the Pyramid down in Long Beach for WNBA playoff action. Wes and Larry have a 10-channel “at-home” transmission all ready for our friends at ESPN. The Los Angeles Sparks host the Connecticut Sun in game three of this playoff series.
More WNBA action back in Vegas on Sunday. Matt Huennekens, back from LA, and Joe Cox, back from Arizona, will get together and multiplex 10 channels back to ESPN headquarters in Connecticut via fiber for Sunday’s game between the Aces and the Washington Mystics, live from Mandalay Bay.
Oops, we left California too soon! CK30 driver extraordinaire, Joe Kelderhouse, has been hauling the truck across the country to be in place for WWE Raw and Smackdown, live from the brand new Chase Center in downtown San Francisco this coming Monday and Tuesday. Zane Michaels will be along for the ride, as well, of course, as the WWE tour takes a west coast swing as they transition to a new broadcaster next month: our friends at Fox! Looking forward to expanding our partnerships with both entities.
Next week we’ve got a PPV in LA along with some live opera (!), but we’ll leave the great state of California for now to see what’s going on in the rest of the country (and beyond) on this barn burner of a weekend.
Plenty of college football, as you can imagine, for Fox, CBS, CBS Sports Network, and more.
Let’s start with Brian Blomstrom, who’s been on the road for football much of the week. He kicked things off at the Hotel Indigo in New Orleans, where we were on hand for another installment of the DAZN-produced Pat McAfee show. From there Brian trucked up to Ruston, LA, for CBSSN’s coverage of the Louisiana Tech versus FIU game on Friday night. With a little help from driver Devon Porter, Brian’s in Houston on Saturday for the big Texas matchup between Rice and Baylor on Saturday night. Nice run, Brian!
Staying in Texas, Brian’s brother, Blake, is getting set for the first game in a doubleheader for the SEC on CBS. Blake’s there for Texas A&M versus the Auburn Tigers on Saturday afternoon, a big-time conference matchup.
The primetime game SEC game is over in Athens, GA, where Rick Ball is already set up at Sanford Stadium. The Georgia Bulldogs will host Notre Dame on Saturday night, and there are going to be a lot of eyeballs on Rick’s broadcast, to say the least. Chris Golden is also in town over at the historic Georgia Theatre, where the CBS Sports HQ House will host a day full of delicious food and drinks, live analysis from former college football stars, cornhole, and much more! It should be a great event that will get everybody fired up for kickoff. Nice job by project manager Mike Reidy pulling this together for the engineers in the field.
Fox’s 4K game of the week is back at Jack Trice Stadium in Ames, IA. 4K guru, Rick Varney, is working alongside his pal and confidant, Steve Toth, to get everything set for Saturday’s game between the Iowa State Cyclones and the Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks.
Not too far up the road in Madison, WI, Justin Roszak and Nick Dailey have the CK25 mobile teleport ready for C-band and Ku-band transmissions for Fox’s coverage of the Big 10 matchup between the Michigan Wolverines and the Wisconsin Badgers. Should be a good one!
More Army football on our schedule! CBS Sports Network has Mike Howley back in his old neck of the woods in West Point, NY for Saturday’s matchup between Army and Morgan State.
And let’s not forget about the Friday night lights! Dave Mitchell’s back on some more WPIAL high school football in the Pittsburgh suburbs. This time it’s Peters Township versus the North Hills Indians. Should be a good one.
Sticking with the kids, Steve Chaisson is way up in Canada for a Junior Hockey Tournament starting this Sunday, live from the Legends Centre in Saskatoon. That’s right, Saskatoon!
Of course we’ve got some golf. Two tournaments finishing up this weekend for our friends at Golf Channel. Kevin Spangler’s at the Country Club of Jackson, MS for the Sanderson Farms Championship, which will finish play on Sunday. And Mike Sheehan’s up at Minnehaha Country Club in Sioux Falls, SD for the Sanford International.
Always racing! Ben Bradshaw and Jonathan Ayala are all set up at Richmond International Raceway for a weekend full of live racing. The guys are in the C27 mobile teleport to provide NASCAR with extensive transmission services via satellite and fiber, as well as a gig of data for the compound via AT&T Global Video Services fiber. The PSSI International Teleport is the hub between the track and NASCAR HQ in Charlotte, and Saturday night’s Federated Auto Parts 400 is the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race of the weekend!
It’s a big weekend for live music, as well. Steve Hagerty and Dennis Smith are at the Alpine Valley Music Theatre in East Troy, WI for Farm Aid 2019. John Mellencamp, Neil Young, and Willie Nelson are there, of course, and joined by Dave Matthews, Bonnie Raitt, Tanya Tucker, and more stars than you can count. What a great event, and we’re lucky to be there for two different customers.
Dennis takes a quick drive to Elkhart Lake after the show, where he’ll be at the Road America track for GT Racing on Sunday evening.
Back to the music scene: how about a live concert pay-per-view? Strategic Television project manager, David Gallardo, is joining forces with Craig Henry and John May in the CK48 mobile teleport for Saturday night’s Eric Clapton Crossroads Guitar Fest. This live show at the American Airlines Arena in Dallas, TX will feature Slowhand himself, along with some of the greatest guitarists in the world: Buddy Guy, Billy Gibbons from ZZ Top, Derek Trucks, Robert Cray, Jonny Lang, Keb Mo, and Peter Frampton! It’s an amazing lineup, and a pretty good gig for our guys, as well.
It’s a heady weekend in North Texas, to say the least. Ron Ford’s getting a big dose of political theory at the America in One Room project, live from the Gaylord Texan Hotel & Convention Center. Conceived by a Stanford University professor, this event will gather 500 American voters to participate in nonpartisan discussions about the major issues in the 2020 presidential election. Ron’s receiving multiple inbound presentations from remote locations around the country, including Cowels Commons in Des Moines, IA. Here we have our production/uplink bus set up for live shots with political figures who are taking part in this event. Project manager Eric Hall is there with Kyle Meyer and driver, Daniel Savoy, putting this amazing bus through its paces. 2020 is going to be an interesting year for our company, and for the whole country!
Let’s finish up south of the border, where our UFC team is all set up at the Mexico City Arena for UFC on ESPN+ on Saturday night. Strategic Television project manager, Keith Valeri, will handle the international distribution of the fight, while senior engineers Tracy Michaels and Mike Lemieux are working with local vendors to ensure the transmission setup meets the exacting standards of our friends at Concom and UFC. Things are looking good for UFC Fight Night, with Yair Rodriguez and Jeremy Stephens sharing the main card with Carla Esparza and Alexa Grasso.
Great job by our team in the field, our logistics and shipping staff, project managers, maintenance teams, accounting staff, and everyone involved in pulling off this busy week. It’s a great time to be the world’s experts in events, transmission, and connectivity!