CBS Launches Extensive Multiplatform Initiative around "Big Brother"
Broadcast network CBS announced Wednesday an extensive multiplatform initiative around the 11th season of the US version of the Endemol reality-TV show, "Big Brother" (Premieres July 9th, 8:00PM Eastern/Pacific). According to CBS:
- A Twitter feed (@BigBrotherScoop) will provide real-time updates from what CBS calls a "production insider" during and between broadcasts.
- Starting Friday, July 10th, a second Twitter feed (@BigBrotherHoH) will give the contestant who has been selected as "Head of Household" for the week an opportunity to tweet daily messages directly to viewers.
- Also starting July 10th, the broadband video show, "Inside Dish with Ross Mathews" (on theinsider.com), will launch weekly "Big Brother" segments. Mathews will also conduct weekly chats with the latest evicted house guest, starting July 24th.
- The official "Big Brother" Web site has been redesigned and relaunched to include 1) more photos and videos than ever before; 2) a new video player that is 30% larger and 50% faster, and that features a thumbnail navigation schema to facilitate access to prior episodes and clips; 3) a new "Interact" section where viewers can participate in community conversations and polls, and watch and vote for their favorite moments of the season; and 4) more content, including summaries of the events that happen during each broadcast, descriptions of each week's challenges, voting history pages, photo galleries, and a House Guest section with contestant profiles.
- An online contest called the "Big Brother Fantasy League" (cbs.com/bbfantasy) will allow viewers to compete for a grand prize of $1,000. Each week, viewers will choose two active "Big Brother" contestants to be on their team, and will accrue points by correctly predicting those contestants' actions and the outcome of events on the show in general.
- The "Head of Household Blog and Photo Gallery" will return for its fourth season. The blog features each week's Head of Household commenting on life in the "Big Brother" house and posting photos.
- Full-length episodes, highlight clips and other "Big Brother" content will be distributed across the CBS Audience Network, allowing viewers to watch that content online and also incorporate clips into their blogs and Web sites and discuss the show on message boards. CBS Audience Network distribution partners include AOL, MSN, Yahoo!, Fancast, Bebo, Sling Media, Windows Media Center, IMDb, Sony Bravia, and TV Guide, as well as the Web sites of 29 CBS-owned TV stations, 144 CBS-owned radio stations and around 183 affiliate stations.
- As they have done for the past eight seasons of the show, CBS and RealNetworks will partner to provide exclusive live streaming video from inside the "Big Brother" house. The streaming coverage will debut immediately following the show's July 9th premiere and will be accessible through the "Big Brother" Web site on CBS.com and through RealNetworks' SuperPass subscription service at real.com/bigbrother. According to CBS, the entire three-month live All Access Internet feed of "Big Brother" will be available through SuperPass. Subscribers to the service will be able to switch between four live camera feeds from inside the "Big Brother" house, or watch all four feeds at once through a quad-cam view that is new for this season. In addition, CBS says, subscribers will be able to participate in an exclusive Web chat area; and will, for the first time, have full access to feed archives. (Note: CBS says that, as in past years, in order to "preserve the drama for 'Big Brother' television viewers," it "may block or delay the Web cast for a limited number of real-time and other events that transcribe in the house.")
- "Big Brother" episodes will be simulcast on the CBS Mobile Channel, on FloTV's mobile TV service.
- Viewers will be able to interact with and influence the show through SMS messaging.
- A new mobile simulation game will allow viewers to compete in the "Big Brother" house as one of the past contestants, playing various mini-games for such show elements as Head of Household and Power of Veto.
- Video clips and photo galleries from the show will be available on the CBS Mobile Web site, TV.com and on major carriers.