Big Brother host Julie Chen

The Eye’s multiplatform initiatives for reality franchise include full episodes online, latenite live feed on TVGN

CBS is taking the live, 24-hour Internet feeds for “Big Brother” in-house for this summer’s run, marking the Eye’s first direct-to-consumer subscription service after ending its 13-year partnership with Real Networks, as part of a broad multiplatform campaign around the reality franchise.

For the 15th season of “Big Brother” on CBS, which bows June 26, the 24/7 live feeds subscription service will be available directly on CBS.com and the Eye will make full episodes available via the CBS App for Apple iOS devices.

Previously, the Eye worked with Real to provide around-the-clock Internet feeds from the “BB” house, which had been available via the $14.99 monthly Real SuperPass service. This year CBS is selling subscriptions for $26.99 for the season (with special $23.99 early promo rate), or $9.95 per month. Live feeds represent a “new, incremental revenue channel” for the net, a rep said.

As in past years, CBS says it may “delay and/or black out the webcast” during more fraught scenes, to “preserve the drama for ‘Big Brother’ television viewers.”

“Fans will have the most immersive, 360-degree ‘Big Brother’ experience ever, across every possible screen, including social media integrations, the live feeds on CBS.com and full episodes on the CBS App,” said Rob Gelick, senior veep and general manager of digital platforms for CBS Interactive Entertainment.

Also new this go-round, “Big Brother: After Dark” will move to TVGN (the former TV Guide Network, now 50% owned by CBS), which will carry a curated live feed from the “BB” house seven nights a week from 12-2 a.m. live Eastern (delayed Pacific) starting June 26. Previously, “BB After Dark” ran on CBS-owned Showtime for seven years. During its premiere week, “Big Brother: After Dark” will air commercial-free on TVGN.

CBS Interactive Advanced Media developed the platform for the live Internet feeds. The system has been used to stream 20,000-plus live college and pro sporting events each year, including this year’s Super Bowl and The Masters.

With the “BB” live feeds service, available only in the U.S., fans will have access to four different live feeds, multiple camera angles and quad-camera view, and subscriber-only chat, plus other new features such as live feed highlights, bookmarks of key moments, the ability to rewind within live playback, and houseguest status updates.

On CBS, “Big Brother” will be broadcast three nights weekly: Sundays at 8 ET/PT, beginning June 30; Tuesdays 9 PM, ET/PT, beginning July 2; and the live eviction show hosted by Julie Chen on Wednesdays (8 PM live ET/delayed PT, beginning July 3).

“Big Brother” is produced by Allison Grodner and Rich Meehan for Fly on the Wall Entertainment, in association with Endemol USA. Time-tested format brings together group of people living together in a house outfitted with more than 53 cameras and 97 microphones, with the group voting one member out of the house weekly. Last houseguest standing receives grand prize of $500,000.

Other social and interactive elements for “BB 15” include: weekly chat with host and former contestant Jeff Schroeder; a new online miniseries featuring a look back at memorable moments of the last 14 seasons; CBS.com’s Big Brother Connect social hub, which aggregates social media conversations about the show; live updates on Twitter; and the Big Brother Photo Booth, where houseguests will take exclusive photos to share with fans on CBS.com.

Filed Under:

Follow @Variety on Twitter for breaking news, reviews and more
Comments 4