A subject that we argue year upon year has come around once again – the Big Brother live feed.
When Big Brother launched in 2000, it became the first and only reality television show to boast a 24 hour live stream available online for viewers to dip in and out of as they wanted. The success of the series and the feeds prompted another 10 series on Channel 4, including seven celebrity series.
In 2009, Channel 4 axed their online streaming service for the first time and only aired a stream from midnight until 6am. This was down to costing issues – however for their final series in 2010 the feed returned online as a subscription based service.
When the series was picked up by Channel 5 in 2011, they announced that the series would have zero live coverage online and on television, airing only the highlights shows, Big Brother’s Bit on the Side and focusing on social media. Fans were in outrage. Despite this, five years on we are still lacking a 24 hour live stream and are only given weekly installments after evictions.
With the seventeenth series of Big Brother about to kick off and with promises of big changes, a new format and a dark force facing the Housemates, why is the live feed important to this year’s outing?
1) Two Houses, two sets of Housemates?
With the rumour that Big Brother could be playing host to two sets of Housemates this year, it means we have double the people to get to know – as well as getting to know their surroundings. With just 60 minutes worth of highlights each night, this is going to be an impossible task. Live streaming gives us an intimate and clearer way of being able to get to know who is in the House – or both houses. We need to be given extra time to get to know who we are watching.
2) Unedited action
Big Brother was the first reality show to air unedited and raw footage from the Big Brother House – this is something that the series lacks now. With heavily edited slices of action from the House condensed down into a 60 minute highlight show, we are often mislead or can see things in different ways. As many Housemates have said as they leave the House, we only see the short amount of footage and don’t get the opportunity to really see what happens. With the big changes, it’s more important than ever that we see exactly what happens so we can understand the game.
3) Boosting television ratings
If fans of Big Brother have access to a live stream they are essentially giving the show free promotion – they will discuss the live streaming across social media, giving news updates and their opinions. If a big event takes place in the House and is seen on the live streaming, the event will create a buzz and the ratings for television will go up.
While not the greatest of events, in 2013 an incident with Daley and Hazel was captured on live feed. This stormed throughout Twitter and eventually gave Channel 5 one of their highest ratings for a civilian Big Brother highlights show ever.
4) It keeps Big Brother real and honest
One of the most important parts of a live stream is that it keeps Big Brother real, honest and one of the best shows on television. With the 24 hour feed, we get to see the action from the House as it happens. Without it, producers are able to take footage, cut bits up and change it around to portray something different or lead us down a false path.
Big Brother Canada producers have recently commented on the feeds and this idea saying “Since they can watch you 24/7 online, you have to tell true stories, you have to tell people’s true experiences, and you can’t make up some cagey reality thing. You don’t have that choice. You’re held accountable to the truth of the experience with those houseguests. That’s why it really is an authentic social experiment.”
5) It’s unique
Our final reason goes without saying – a 24 hour live stream keeps Big Brother unique. No other show here in the UK offers a live stream. Big Brother is a show that thrives off publicity and controversy and with the live feed, the show can only grow on both areas. Fans are able to look into the show day and night and get fully immersed in it rather than just watching it from time to time like other reality shows.
Why do you think the live feed is important? Let us know below.