I agree, 44 gb is a lot. However, it seems not to transfer as one .pkg file as I thought it would. I see the clients going thru all the individual image files as it preps to send. And here's the thing - they don't start showing up on the remote side and then hit some kind of size limit. The very first bits to go don't make it at all. Zero bits/bytes transferred. I'm looking into the zip suggestion, but if it works it appears it will be due to liking a zip file format better than the original pkg format, because the zip file barely achieved any compression savings at all.
Personally I would try to compress the file to .zip as this will be truly one file then. The catalog is a packaged file, so probably not the best way to send it.