The Big Brother live feeds have been a part of the reality show for decades, but for most superfans, the live feeds are required viewing.
Few reality shows share as much unfiltered content as Big Brother, which provides viewers the opportunity to watch 24/7 live feeds of its contestants, an essential component of the show’s longevity and success. The American Big Brother format has incorporated the live feed element since its inception in 2000. The name of the show itself is a reference to “Big Brother,” the term from George Orwell’s novel 1984 that describes a society in which the government spies on its citizens’ every move. The Big Brother live feeds serve a similar purpose for fans of the game.
Over the many years Big Brother has been on the air, the format for accessing the live feeds has changed several times. With new technology and the advent of streaming services, it’s now easier than ever to watch the houseguests interact live. In early seasons, the quality of the live feeds made the service a bit more frustrating. As the live feeds transitioned from the SuperPass service to the now-defunct CBS All Access to their current home on Paramount+, they have become increasingly more accessible and are arguably more vital to Big Brother than ever before.
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The Big Brother live feeds are crucial to most superfans’ enjoyment of the show. They provide viewers the opportunity to watch the game unfold in real time and to get to know the houseguests on a deeper level than the edited episodes allow. Like all reality shows, the television component of Big Brother is heavily edited, the show having to cut 80-100 days’ worth of content into a season that’s usually only about 25 hours long. There’s so much content left on the cutting room floor that some major events don’t even make it onto the main show. The live feeds give the most passionate members of the Big Brother fanbase the opportunity to see get a more holistic sense of the game and the players within it.
Unpopular opinion: I don’t need the #bb24 cast announcement early. We all change our minds about them once we watch them on the live feeds anyway. 🤷🏻♀️
— Sarah ▶️ Nerdtainment #bb24 (@SarahBigBrother) June 30, 2022
The live feeds are also captivating for those interested in how reality television works, specifically with regard to how editing can shape a story in a way that may or may not be an accurate representation of the real events. For instance, there have been several instances in Big Brother history when houseguests who behaved poorly on the live feeds were given favorable or heroic edits on the televised episodes, as well as instances in which the opposite was true. The producers and editors shape a narrative, and Big Brother live feeders can see how the edit builds that narrative, for better or worse.
Of course, the live feeds also have drawbacks. The feeds go dark for the vast majority of competitions and ceremonies, and the behind-the-scenes operators will often cut away from conversations in which the houseguests talk about out-of-bounds or controversial topics. The feeds have also harmed recruiting efforts for contestants, especially for returning player seasons, as the constant scrutiny of their daily actions leave houseguests vulnerable to all types of criticism. Though some houseguests are rightfully criticized by the fans for their poor behavior in the house, there is also a prevalence of toxic stan culture in some corners of the Big Brother fandom, and the live feeds can exacerbate that toxicity. Overall, though, the live feeds are an indispensable ingredient of Big Brother’s success and are required viewing for many of the show’s fans.
Next: Big Brother: Why Season 24’s Shortened Game Is Good For The Show
Big Brother 24 airs Sundays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays on CBS.
Source: Sarah Atwood/Twitter
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About The Author
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Lee Whitten is a freelance reality TV writer for Screen Rant. He is a pop culture fiend and considers himself an expert on all things Survivor, Big Brother, and The Amazing Race. Lee also holds a master’s degree in literature and works as a screenwriter when he’s not too busy rewatching old seasons of Survivor. You can follow him on Twitter @Lee_Whitten to read more of his thoughts on movies and TV.
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