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#571

Wallyhorse

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Posted Jan 11, 2010 @ 9:14 AM

The difference is a big one:

Disney can pass on the cost of the rights for an ESPN Olympics to cable and sattellite operators, who would not dare revolt because they know a LARGE portion of their subscribers have cable solely for ESPN. That makes advertising important, but not NEARLY as much as if the games were on a broadcast network.

#572

Quaker2001

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Posted Jan 11, 2010 @ 9:56 AM

Disney can pass on the cost of the rights for an ESPN Olympics to cable and sattellite operators, who would not dare revolt because they know a LARGE portion of their subscribers have cable solely for ESPN. That makes advertising important, but not NEARLY as much as if the games were on a broadcast network.


This is what I dislike about ESPN.. the idea that in order to pay for buying the rights to a big event, their recourse might be to pass the cost onto their viewers. And to buy the rights to the Olympics will probably cost what ESPN pays for an entire season of NFL football. Here's the difference though. The $1.1 billion ESPN pays for the NFL means they're covering the sport year-round in addition to the 17 games, so it almost justifies the extra value it adds to ESPN. The same could be said if ESPN gets the NCAA Tournament because then they'd have March Madness in addition to another 4 months of regular season college hoops. The Olympics won't function that way. It really only earns ESPN a windfall during the games themselves, so if they increase their subscriber rates, where's the value in the other 11 1/2 months out of the year when presumably ESPN's rates are higher, but there's no Olympics. And especially for 2014, ESPN will probably have at least some sort of primetime show on ABC (aside from all the other programming commitments ESPN has, I don't think the IOC will buy into an all-cable Olympics, they won't want to lose millions of eyeballs because they still have their advertisers to take care of), and if that's the case, will the usual family/non-sports fan demographic of the Olympics want to pay for ESPN, and if they do, maybe they'd only subscribe for the 1 month and that would be it.

As for NBC, they have a new parent company whose focus is on cable channels and I'm sure they will see the value in putting Olympics programming on a channel like Versus (or whatever it gets renamed) and will back NBC for however much they have to spend, especially if they put Dick Ebersol in charge. The fact that they're losing money on Vancouver is more a sign of the times and the bad economy than anything, and let's remember this is the same network that wrote of losses on the Super Bowl last year. Bottom line.. I still think the Olympics are much valuable to NBC/Comcast than they will be to Disney and that ESPN would really have to make an offer that blows the IOC out of the water in order to cut ties with NBC.

#573

cherry malotte

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Posted Jan 11, 2010 @ 11:29 AM

I don't know about anybody else, but the medals for Vancouver look very potato chippy to me.. Maybe they'll look better on the athletes.

#574

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Posted Jan 11, 2010 @ 6:16 PM

Here's what I think happens if ESPN does get the 2014 games:

All events are completely live on one ESPN platform or another (whether it be the cable channels, ESPN360, etc.), with for the duration of the Olympics, ESPN360 also being available through abc.com and all sites of ABC's Owned and Operated Stations.

One or two channels of ESPN Olympic Programming would be available at all times to the digitial subchannels of ALL ABC affiliates.

ABC gets a three-hour highlights show each night from 8:00-11:00 PM ET/PT, done in the traditional format, but unlike in the past no events would be held for prime time (as they would be shown earlier in the day on ESPN or one of the various ESPN outlets), however, at the same time, other networks (aside from ESPN) would NOT be permitted to show ANY highlights whatsoever until after the conclusion of the west coast showing of ABC's prime time Olympics shows at 2:00 AM ET.

ESPN2 and ESPNU would still have college basketball as they normally do at night during the week.

On weekends, ABC would show live daytime coverage while ESPN also has college basketball.

The closing ceremonies, which are not as important to show live, would air on ABC in prime time on tape, but be the only event shown on television exclusively on tape delay (and even that would be available live on ESPN360 for those who want to see it live).

Edited by Wallyhorse, Jan 11, 2010 @ 6:19 PM.


#575

Quaker2001

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Posted Jan 11, 2010 @ 7:40 PM

Wally, that all looks pretty plausible, I think that's exactly the approach Disney would take for the games. Here's the problem though, look at this from ESPN's perspective. Let's say the price tag for the 2014 Olympics is $800 million (by comparison, NBC paid $820 million for Vancouver). NBC can make that back all in advertising. If all of the events are being shown between 1am and 4pm ET (9am to Midnight local time in Sochi), obviously there's not all that much to be made in advertising dollars then, and that the primetime is just a highlights show, there can't be much money in that. I know ESPN has the dual revenue stream with subscriber fees, but do they really expect to make up the rest of that rights fee, especially if coverage is available online and on ABC subchannels? Doesn't seem like a real moneymaker for Disney, and part of the issue I have is that ESPN has lots of other programming commitments during the month of February. Let's say there's a big Duke/North Carolina game on ESPN during the Olympics.. what is going to be the lead on Sportscenter, will it be that or the big news at the Olympics? Aside from the style of coverage and the money involved, I have doubts as to how important the Olympics will be to ESPN, as opposed to NBC who as we've learned are willing to push anything and everything else aside for the 2 weeks of the games, not to mention that they'll be huge amounts of promotions for months leading up to the Olympics. That's why I keep saying that unless Disney puts an offer on the table that absolutely blows NBC/Comcast out of the water, the IOC will want to stick with NBCU. They'll treat the Olympics with the respect it deserves. I am less than confident ESPN would do the same.

#576

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Posted Jan 12, 2010 @ 1:21 AM

Considering NBC's coverage of the Summer Games, and my unfamiliarity with winter sports, are there any athletes for them to overhype (Michael Phelps is a god of the pool, y'all!!), or sensationalize a non-story? (Dana Torres is OLD, y'all!)

#577

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Posted Jan 12, 2010 @ 7:11 AM

Short track speed skater Apolo Ohno has 5 medals and is currently tied with Eric Heiden for most Olympic medals among US men. If he gets another, his 6 will tie him with Bonnie Blair for most Olympic medals among all Americans. Get at least two medals in Vancouver and obviously he'll be alone at the top.

#578

selkie

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Posted Jan 12, 2010 @ 11:00 AM

I saw a promo for Shani Davis the other night- guess they're trying to get some interest from African-American viewers because they don't usually push or promote someone with that kind of chronic low level douchiness.

#579

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Posted Jan 12, 2010 @ 11:41 AM

are there any athletes for them to overhype

Lindsay Vonn. She's the best alpine skier in the world and a hottie to boot.

#580

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Posted Jan 12, 2010 @ 11:51 AM

Considering NBC's coverage of the Summer Games, and my unfamiliarity with winter sports, are there any athletes for them to overhype (Michael Phelps is a god of the pool, y'all!!)...


LOL. Literally, this is the headline from MSNBC over a month ago:
"Could Vonn be the Phelps of Winter Olympics?
‘Pressure building’ on U.S. ski star to win medals, boost sales and her sport"
.

It's a risky strategy for the network to hype an athlete too much before the games because it's always possible that the athlete won't meet expectations. Phelps did and NBC reaped the benefits, but in 2006, for example, Bode Miller was a big disappointment.

Edited by misere, Jan 12, 2010 @ 11:53 AM.


#581

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Posted Jan 12, 2010 @ 8:14 PM

Thanks, and noted.

Apolo Ohno

I actually did see an ad with this guy; still with that thing on his chin too.

#582

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Posted Jan 13, 2010 @ 1:38 PM

cherry malotte, I get what you're saying re: the potato chip look of the medals. However, they're really thick and heavy, so the potato chip look won't manifest itself when the athletes are holding them. Plus, the waviness is to symbolize the BC mountain ranges, and I heard somewhere that they are partly made from recycled materials, so that's all good too.

They're much nicer than the "CDs" that were awarded, I think, in Barcelona.

#583

Lucydevil

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Posted Jan 13, 2010 @ 3:08 PM

The CDs were the last winter Olympics in Torino. NBC has a gallery of the winter Olympics medals on the same site as presents the new ones. many are quite avante garde (aka ugly).

#584

Magog

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Posted Jan 13, 2010 @ 5:44 PM

Considering NBC's coverage of the Summer Games, and my unfamiliarity with winter sports, are there any athletes for them to overhype (Michael Phelps is a god of the pool, y'all!!)...

LOL. Literally, this is the headline from MSNBC over a month ago:
"Could Vonn be the Phelps of Winter Olympics?
‘Pressure building’ on U.S. ski star to win medals, boost sales and her sport".

It's a risky strategy for the network to hype an athlete too much before the games because it's always possible that the athlete won't meet expectations. Phelps did and NBC reaped the benefits, but in 2006, for example, Bode Miller was a big disappointment.


I never liked Bode Miller & I hope that won't have to put up with him this time around.

Something tells me that I might say the same thing about Lindsey Vonn once the Olyimpics start. Already, I'm not feeling her.


Are the Opening Ceremonies going to air live or will that be on primetime?

Why does NBC put the figure skating events & the skiing events on primetime? Its very easy to get the results of those on the internet & unless something interesting happened on those events that day, it probably won't be worth my time to watch when it does air in primetime. Its bad enough that NBC always wait till around 10:30 to get to the interesting stuff.

#585

Quaker2001

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Posted Jan 13, 2010 @ 6:08 PM

Are the Opening Ceremonies going to air live or will that be on primetime?


Both. The Opening Ceremony begins at 6pm in Vancouver, it will be covered live in primetime on NBC.

Why does NBC put the figure skating events & the skiing events on primetime? Its very easy to get the results of those on the internet & unless something interesting happened on those events that day, it probably won't be worth my time to watch when it does air in primetime. Its bad enough that NBC always wait till around 10:30 to get to the interesting stuff.


Because those are the highest-rated. Remember that a large percentage of the audience during the Olympics is female and not your typical sports fan so NBC will, as usual, show a lot of figure skating in primetime, and thanks to the friendly time zone, it will all be live. Yes, it will probably be towards the end of the primetime shows, but this time around, it's more a function of live scheduling as to what airs when.

And Magog.. see my earlier post about how little NBC is concerned that people will know the results of events from earlier in the day before they air. You may be the typical sports fan that just cares about the results and won't watch an event if you know what happened. Most of NBC's Olympics audience thinks otherwise and will watch anyway even if they know what happened.

#586

Wallyhorse

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Posted Jan 14, 2010 @ 2:09 AM

Let's say there's a big Duke/North Carolina game on ESPN during the Olympics.. what is going to be the lead on Sportscenter, will it be that or the big news at the Olympics? Aside from the style of coverage and the money involved,


What I suspect will happen is there will be the regular Sportscenter on ESPN, which will be heavy on Olympics, but also focus on the other sports, while I also think in addition to the prime time highlights show on ABC, there also would be a late-night OlympicsCenter or Sportscenter at the Olympics that would air on ABC in late night, most likely after an earlier-than-usual Jimmy Kimmel Live that likely would be moved up to 11:35 PM ET/PT for the Olympics (shelving Nightline for two weeks), with such airing on ABC after Kimmel at 12:35 AM ET/PT, either as a half-hour or hour-long show.

#587

redpencil

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Posted Jan 14, 2010 @ 4:55 AM

Both. The Opening Ceremony begins at 6pm in Vancouver, it will be covered live in primetime on NBC.

I wonder how they're going to handle the time zones for primetime coverage. Obviously it works out so that many events can be live, but I suspect as a West Coast viewer I'm still going to get screwed and won't get anything actually "live," at least not during primetime, even though I'm in the same time zone as Vancouver. Stupid East Coast. Oh well, I'm pretty used to it, and considering I'd rather they show things at night when I'm home than while I'm at work or on my way home, I'm mostly okay with it.

You may be the typical sports fan that just cares about the results and won't watch an event if you know what happened. Most of NBC's Olympics audience thinks otherwise and will watch anyway even if they know what happened.

I agree with this. For a lot of Olympic viewers, the experience of watching is at least as important as the results themselves. And I can only speak for myself here (though I suspect I'm far from alone), but as an Olympics junkie, I will often purposely avoid finding out results beforehand so that I can go in later without knowing what's going to happen. Sometimes I don't succeed and accidentally come across things I didn't mean to, but for the most part I try to go on complete media lockdown during the day just to avoid knowing results of things that I will be shown on tape delay that night. And for those events that I fail at keeping a mystery, the shine might be off a little bit, but I will still watch.

Edited by redpencil, Jan 14, 2010 @ 5:03 AM.


#588

Quaker2001

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Posted Jan 14, 2010 @ 10:18 AM

What I suspect will happen is there will be the regular Sportscenter on ESPN, which will be heavy on Olympics, but also focus on the other sports, while I also think in addition to the prime time highlights show on ABC, there also would be a late-night OlympicsCenter or Sportscenter at the Olympics that would air on ABC in late night, most likely after an earlier-than-usual Jimmy Kimmel Live that likely would be moved up to 11:35 PM ET/PT for the Olympics (shelving Nightline for two weeks), with such airing on ABC after Kimmel at 12:35 AM ET/PT, either as a half-hour or hour-long show.


Definitely could see that, similar to what NBC did from Salt Lake and Turin, integrating the "Olympic Tonight Show" in with Late Night coverage, although that might be a tough sell effectively dump all of ABC's primetime and late night programming for 2 1/2 weeks. Even still, with regard to ESPN, it does create a dilemma as to what to do with all of their regular programming during the Olympics, and I still believe that if ESPN puts an offer on the table to the IOC that largely confines coverage to cable and turns ABC into nothing more than a highlights show, the IOC won't be interested. There's a reason why the NFL keeps their biggest games on network television, the ratings prove it. And I think the IOC thinks along similar lines and probably isn't as optimistic as you are that 99% of the country will have cable or satellite television in 2014.

Edited by Quaker2001, Jan 14, 2010 @ 10:18 AM.


#589

Wallyhorse

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Posted Jan 14, 2010 @ 12:44 PM

There will be some viewers who will want to see the games that don't have cable or satellite (and always will be), but even now the overwhelming majority of those who want to see the Olympics (and especially those who are desired by ad buyers) have cable, so to me, this is a non-issue. The highlight show on ABC followed in late night by what would be essentially be an all-Olympics edition of Sportscenter I think would satisfy the over-the-air end for the IOC, as I think the IOC may also realize the days of wall-to-wall olympics coverage over-the-air may be dwindling over the next few year. Also, with the internet becoming more important, I also suspect with ESPN360 and ESPN's other platforms, the IOC would accept the games moving to cable otherwise, especially if ALL events are shown live and are archived on ESPN360 (with ESPN360 also available through abc.com and local station websites for the games) as well.

#590

Quaker2001

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Posted Jan 14, 2010 @ 1:33 PM

There will be some viewers who will want to see the games that don't have cable or satellite (and always will be), but even now the overwhelming majority of those who want to see the Olympics (and especially those who are desired by ad buyers) have cable, so to me, this is a non-issue. The highlight show on ABC followed in late night by what would be essentially be an all-Olympics edition of Sportscenter I think would satisfy the over-the-air end for the IOC, as I think the IOC may also realize the days of wall-to-wall olympics coverage over-the-air may be dwindling over the next few year. Also, with the internet becoming more important, I also suspect with ESPN360 and ESPN's other platforms, the IOC would accept the games moving to cable otherwise, especially if ALL events are shown live and are archived on ESPN360 (with ESPN360 also available through abc.com and local station websites for the games) as well.


It's a very valid point about those who don't have cable/satellite may be less attractive to advertisers, but I still don't think you appreciate the gap between network ratings and cable ratings. Take the NFL for example. On the list of the top-rated NFL games during the 2009 regular season, ESPN's highest rated game ranks only 17th. And if you want to compare total viewers, take the Packers/Vikings games. Their week 4 meeting in Minnesota drew a 14.2 overnight rating and just under 22 million viewers. By comparison, the rematch on Fox in week 8 drew an 18.3 overnight and just under 30 million viewers. That gap may shrink a little bit in the coming years, but that's still a huge difference in total viewership between network and cable.

I know you (and other people) continue to think that NBC is hurting themselves by not showing events live, but I don't believe the IOC sees it that way. If ESPN were to show live coverage of big events throughout the day (and including overnights and early morning), there is no possible way in the world that they will draw the kinds of viewership numbers for their coverage. And if the ABC primetime coverage is there just to satisfy the IOC into keeping the Olympics on network television (which I think the IOC will view as absolutely essential), then ESPN's bid for the games automatically becomes less attractive than what NBC is willing to offer.

Remember who your Olympics demographic is.. it's not your typical sports geek who is spending all day surfing the Internet. It's families and women who are more than happy to have everything presented to them in the evening when everyone is home and ready to settle in for a night of storytelling. Wally, you're right that the Internet and cable TV and other advances in technology play into everything, but I still think you're failing to see how these things affect the Olympics differently than, say, the NCAA Tournament. And if you were presenting the 'Olympics on ESPN' to the IOC like you did and NBC makes their pitch using the same old formula they've been using for the past 2 decades, all things being equal, I'm positive they'd want to go with NBC.

ETA : I'm looking at NBC's press release of the schedule right now. They mention Apolo Anton Ohno as 1 of the athletes to watch and make a big deal out of him winning Dancing With The Stars in 2007, so that tells you something about how he is being marketed.

Edited by Quaker2001, Jan 14, 2010 @ 2:37 PM.


#591

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Posted Jan 20, 2010 @ 5:28 PM

Wasn't Apolo Anton Ohno annoying enough the first time? I can't believe he's back again. I wish they would just stick to covering the sports. The Olympics aren't long enough to invest my time in all the personal background info on each athelete. I sometimes think the sponsers of the individual atheletes pay extra to have features done on their clients.

Edited by Judeee, Jan 20, 2010 @ 5:29 PM.


#592

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Posted Jan 24, 2010 @ 9:31 AM

Did you guys see the NBC Olympics guy on the Colbert Report? I guess since Colbert raised money to sponsor speed skating, they're going to have him do some special report about his impressions of speed skating etc. If he hypes that on his show, that might bring more viewers to the Olympics who might not ordinarily have watched.

#593

raceguy120390

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Posted Jan 27, 2010 @ 2:05 AM

Not usually a fan of the winter olympics (not enough speedos, really), but I love this promo.

#594

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Posted Jan 28, 2010 @ 2:11 PM

I emailed USA network to ask if Olympic Ice will be part of their programming this time. If they answer, I'll post it.

#595

Quaker2001

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Posted Jan 28, 2010 @ 10:39 PM

I emailed USA network to ask if Olympic Ice will be part of their programming this time. If they answer, I'll post it.


There's no Olympic Ice as part of NBC's coverage from Vancouver. USA is actually pretty good about making their schedule available in advance.. no Olympic Ice to be found. The closest NBC or any of their networks have is a program on Universal Sports called the Vancouver Figure Skating Hour. It will air daily from 2pm to 3pm ET from February 13th through the 27th. I'm not a big figure skating fan, but I was surprised that there's no Olympic Ice this year since that seemed to be a relatively successful program from Turin.

#596

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Posted Jan 29, 2010 @ 12:19 PM

Thanks Quaker. I'll keep an eye out for the 2pm show. I guess I'll have to learn where Universal Sports is on my cable system.

#597

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Posted Jan 29, 2010 @ 1:13 PM

Sometimes I don't succeed and accidentally come across things I didn't mean to, but for the most part I try to go on complete media lockdown during the day just to avoid knowing results of things that I will be shown on tape delay that night.


During the Olympics, when I pull up Yahoo or MSN to sign into my e-mail, I literally put one hand over the middle and left part of the screen because there tends to be an Olympic spoiler, and then I log in with the other hand.

Edited by Reality Chaser, Jan 29, 2010 @ 1:15 PM.


#598

Mood Indigo

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Posted Jan 30, 2010 @ 5:46 PM

I am very excited for the Winter Olympics! I wonder who the "big" athletes will be this year. There always seems to be a huge hype around three or four people. In 2006, it was Shaun White, Bode Miller, Michelle Kwan, and Apolo Anton Ohno. I'm looking forward to hearing some new names this time around.

NBC's coverage can always be hit or miss. I'm hoping that during the opening ceremony, the two hosts (probably Vierra and Lauer) will keep quiet. Although, I'm sure that's very unlikely.

Will we be getting a full forum for the games like we did for the Beijing Olympics? I remember it being pretty active.

#599

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Posted Feb 2, 2010 @ 6:31 PM

The full list of NBC's 2010 announcers:

Hosts
Bob Costas (Primetime)
Al Michaels (Daytime)
Mary Carillo (Late Night)
Bill Patrick (Hockey)
Fred Roggin (Curling)

Olympic Correspondents / Sportsdesk
Dick Button
Mary Carillo
Cris Collinsworth
Jimmy Roberts
Lester Holt
Alex Flanagan
Dwight Stones
Peter Alexander

Alpine Skiing
Tim Ryan
Todd Booker
Christin Cooper
Steve Porino

Bobsled/Luge/Skeleton
Bob Papa
Duncan Kennedy
John Morgan
Lee Ann Parsley
Lewis Johnson

Cross Country and Biathlon
Al Trautwig
Chad Salmela

Curling
Andrew Catalon
Don Duguid
Colleen Jones
Elfi Schlegel

Figure Skating
Tom Hammond
Sandra Bezic
Scott Hamilton
Tracy Wilson
Andrea Joyce

Freestyle Skiing
Todd Harris
Jonny Moseley
Tina Dixon

Hockey
Mike Emrick
Kenny Albert
Eddie Olczyk
AJ Mleczko
Pierre McGuire
Joe Micheletti
Mike Milbury
Cammi Granato
Jeremy Roenick

Short Track
Ted Robinson
Andy Gabel
Andrea Joyce

Snowboarding
Pat Parnell
Todd Richards
Tina Dixon

Speed Skating
Dan Hicks
Dan Jansen
Andrea Kremer

Ski Jumping
Matt Vasgersian
Jeff Hastings

#600

AimingforYoko

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Posted Feb 2, 2010 @ 7:58 PM

I keep forgetting the Winter Games has so many fewer events than the Summer games. Except for TV, there's absolutely no reason for the Winter games to go 16 days.

Edited by AimingforYoko, Feb 2, 2010 @ 7:59 PM.