PSSI/Strategic Television has been handling the transmission of major boxing telecasts since well before the rise of Mike Tyson, so this weekend’s blockbuster Manny Pacquiao–Shane Mosley WBO welterweight championship fight would seem to be old hat. However, the veteran satellite-transmission provider, which has delivered every UFC pay-per-view event for half a decade, continues to take every possible precaution every time it enters the ring.
“We’ve been doing events like this for almost 30 years now so, in a way, it is just another day in the office,” says Strategic Television President Matt Bridges. “But, at the same time, we don’t lose sight of the fact that all the T’s must be crossed and I’s dotted for a multimillion-dollar event like this. It’s nice to know that they feel comfortable using us.”
Live at MGM Grand
Strategic TV will roll out eight satellite trucks and a sprawling infrastructure of encoding and monitoring resources at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas to deliver redundant HD and SD transmission pathways to the major pay-per-view distributors throughout North America. In addition, Strategic TV will deliver HD and SD feeds to international rightsholders in more than 100 countries, as well as specific program and camera feeds to NeuLion for broadband streaming.
“It’s an all-inclusive transmission, one of a handful of events where we provide soup-to-nuts transmission coverage,” says Bridges. “From a boxing standpoint, any promotion could have three or four promoters involved. So it’s nice that they have a common source of distribution through Strategic TV. That way, they are focused on promoting the fight and not about the distribution to their partners throughout the world.”
International Transmission Paths
The international transmission path for the fight will involve a bevy of networks and providers that use both satellite and fiber for distribution. Strategic TV will originate all HD feeds on-site at the MGM Grand. It will use Arqiva as its gateway to Europe and a combination of Pacific Television (PacTV) and Globecast paths as its gateway to Asia. In addition, Strategic TV will use Intelsat’s Napa Valley earth station as an alternative gateway to Asia and Intelsat’s Ellenwood, GA, earth station as a gateway to South America.
After originating the HD signals, Strategic TV will send the feeds to PacTV’s Los Angeles teleport, where they will be downconverted to SD and sent via fiber to Arqiva in London (for Europe) and to Intelsat’s Napa Valley earth station (for Asia).
NeuLion Roars Into Ring
With broadband platforms gaining popularity seemingly by the minute, boxing is no longer just about pay-per-view television sales. NeuLion will stream isolated camera feeds and program feeds from the Pacquiao–Mosley fight to subscribers online. PSSI and Strategic TV will be in charge of multiplexing and delivering these HD and SD MPEG-2 feeds to NeuLion’s Plainview, NY, facility.
“We’ve been using this model [for boxing] for most of the past two years, distributing multi HD and SD feeds to NeuLion,” says Bridges. “They take in that muxed feed and then push it to the Web for their secure distribution. For the last five years, we’ve been doing this model for most UFC pay-per-views as well.”