Big Brother is unlike other reality competitions in a number of ways. For one thing, it airs three times a week. For another, it isn't all pretaped ahead of time, which means fans who care enough about what's going on inside the Big Brother house can subscribe to the live feeds to get an unedited view of the strategizing and drama. Those who didn't want to pay for the live feeds could still get a glimpse of the unedited action inside the BB house by watching Big Brother After Dark on Showtime2. The live feeds and BBAD will still be around for Big Brother 15, which premieres later this month, but the location for both of those features has changed.
The network announced this week that Big Brother After Dark will now air on TVGN, and the Big Brother live feeds will be available at CBS.com, for a fee. Previously, the live feeds were offered through RealPlayer Plus, which also required a fee, either monthly or a package to cover the summer. This summer, fans who want access to the BB action inside the house can sign up at CBS.com. And if you sign up before June 25, you get a 20% discount. The "Early Bird Special" for the Season Pass is $23.99. That covers the cost of the feeds for the summer. Or you can pay $9.99 monthly. That's the better option for those who prefer to wait until the later part of the season to sign up for the feeds.
The downside of this may come for Canadians, as the sign-up indicates that the feeds are offered to U.S. residents only.
In terms of features, in addition to the four feeds we're used to getting, there's also an archives option, a chat room, and the ability to rewind within live playback. Subscribers will also be able to view the feeds from their mobile devices, and access full episodes through the CBS app.
CBS also announced that former Big Brother houseguest Jeff Schroeder will be hosting a weekly web series called Big Brother Live Chat, which will air online on Fridays. Not as clever a title as House Calls, but Jeff's got a great sense of humor and two seasons worth of playing experience going for him.
While it's still too soon for CBS to offer up any major specifics on the season - they tend not to do that until they have the contestants sequestered - they did give us one clue about the house. There's going to be a photo booth inside the house, which will be used by the houseguests to take exclusive photos to share with fans on CBS.com.
Episodes of Big Brother will air three nights a week, as usual, Sundays (8:00 p.m. ET/PT), Tuesdays (9:00 p.m. ET/PT) and the live episode on Wednesdays (8:00 p.m. live ET/delayed PT). Big Brother After Dark will air for two hours, seven nights a week on TV Guide Network, from 12:00-2:00 a.m. live ET/delayed PT, starting Wednesday June 26, the same night the series premieres on CBS (8:00 p.m. ET).