Broadcast network CBS is teaming up with its sister service to offer late-night, uncut and uninterrupted coverage of CBS' Big Brother reality series on Showtime’s ShoToo multiplex channel.
The agreement marks the first time CBS and Showtime have partnered on distribution rights for a series, but Showtime Networks president of entertainment Bob Greenblatt hopes it won’t be the last.
Beginning July 5 and continuing each night through August, ShoToo will distribute a daily, three-hour live feed from inside the Big Brother house.
The series -- which will air on CBS Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays beginning July 5 -- follows the exploits of players who live together in the aforementioned house, outfitted with dozens of cameras and microphones recording their every move 24 hours per day. One by one, each house guest is voted off by their co-residents until a winner is chosen.
According to Greenblatt, ShoToo will air one of the numerous video feeds that are constantly running in the house. Many of those feeds can be accessed online -- uncut and uninterrupted -- via RealNetworks. RNI charges $14.99 per month for the feeds or a one-time fee of $39.99 for the three-month run.
“CBS was looking at ways to take this franchise and extend it to as many platforms as possible,” Greenblatt said. “The idea was to take some of the feeds that are going constantly and air them [on ShoToo]. Some of it will be [the players] sleeping and be somewhat boring, and some of it could be very mesmerizing.”
Greenblatt would not predict how many viewers would tune in to see Big Brother After Dark, but he said the uncut, late-night offering will have some appeal to curious, voyeuristic fans.
“I don’t know if we’re going to see droves of people tuning in to the feeds, but we’re trying to carve out a bit of the real estate that fits our network,” he added.
CBS will promote Big Brother After Dark during the show’s three weekly telecasts, while Showtime will run tags for the show on its various multiplex services.
Greenblatt said the Big Brother experiment is the first of several opportunities to partner with CBS regarding content distribution, although nothing is currently in the works.
“We’re always looking for things to do in concert with CBS,” he added.
Along with ShoToo and RNI, CBS will offer Big Brother content through the mobile platform. The broadcaster will offer a mobile-subscription package that will provide video clips, photos, live breaking house alerts and daily insider summaries sent straight to subscribers’ cell phones. Additionally, fans will be able to download made-for-mobile wallpapers and ring tones from their favorite house guests via CBS Mobile.
Also, fans will have the opportunity to cast votes that will impact certain scenarios inside the house. Cell-phone subscribers can also send in their votes via text message on most major wireless carriers.
CBS.com will offer House Calls: The Big Brother Talk Show, a free 30-minute, streaming-video talk show that broadcasts weekdays throughout the show’s run.