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CBS changes their mind!!!
July 9, 2001 11:04 AM   Subscribe

CBS changes their mind!!!

I was one of the few people who was considering paying the $20 to watch the Big Brother feeds all summer long. I figured that I spend at least that much money on beer during a night out that three month's on entertainment for $20 seemed like a bargain.

However, CBS apparently listened to all the complaints and now instead of a "Free Trial", they are giving the internet feeds away for free.

Good CBS. Now expose Will, Justin, and Mike as the jerks they are on Tuesday's episode and you'll have a happy camper. Okay, and give me Hardy's phone number as well.
posted by Pinwiz (19 comments total)

 
Corrected Link.

Sorry, I couldn't find a way to edit the original post. I'm sure I'm just being blind.
posted by Pinwiz at 11:08 AM on July 9, 2001


This is great news. I'm glad to see they came around.

I spent some time this weekend soaking up the live feeds, and chatting with the other fans (ZachsMind -- where were you???). I made it a point to convince those who were truly addicted to NOT pay for the feeds, no matter how badly they wanted to.

My main points were:
1) You would be paying for an average feed with spotty audio/video quality PLUS it is constantly being censored by CBS when they get too revealing (nudity is fine, but talking about the producers and their audition process is not.)

2) CBS/Real made the decision to charge for access based on the potential profit revenue. Therefore, the only way to get them to change course is to CUT OFF their $$$.

It's nice to see my campaign worked... :)
posted by Dirjy at 11:48 AM on July 9, 2001


This is great news. I was ready to pay.

I noticed a LOT of talk amongst the housemates this weekend about the producers. I watched for a while when Mike and Will were plotting how they should get into a fight to boost ratings. They discussed Real World, Survivor, Making the Band and the first Big Brother a lot this weekend. I would say that 80% of what I saw was very interesting but completely unbroadcastable due to content or language.
posted by spynotebook at 12:38 PM on July 9, 2001


Can you site a specific source that confirms that the feeds will be free for the duration of the show? There appears to be no confirmation of this.
posted by gluechunk at 1:31 PM on July 9, 2001


Actually, I wish they would charge for feeds, it'd be nice to see a corporation put a value on something web-related for once, maybe the stigma of "free, free, free, now, now, now!" would go away if people would start paying for the real costs of providing a service.
posted by mathowie at 1:39 PM on July 9, 2001


I don't think people mind spending a little to get a service, but in the Big Brother example the feeds are still censored from time to time. It's not 24-7 as they advertise.
posted by gluechunk at 1:53 PM on July 9, 2001


I have to disagree with you, Matt.

Call me old-fashioned, but I liked the web better before it was overrun by big business. I think the expectation of "free, free, free, now, now, now!" will do more to keep control of the web in the hands of real people instead of corporations.

Also, I don't see the video feeds as strictly a 'service.' True, there is some entertainment value, but they are mostly used as promotion. The feeds build a fan(atical) base, which then drives them to the TV show where the real profit is made. The feeds are more like an always-on commercial.

We have all been entertained by clever commercials in the past -- but does that mean we should pay for the cost of producing that tidbet of entertainment?
posted by Dirjy at 1:59 PM on July 9, 2001


I'm with matt. The free web is great, but I'd like to see pay content become more viable. I want micropayments and downloadable $3 CDs in addition to all the free stuff.

More corporations, actually, would mean more publicity for the technologies that the web can utilize. One big brother show charging money pushes the future of the web forward a million times more than I can with my own little free site.
posted by jragon at 2:11 PM on July 9, 2001


I'm glad they changed their minds. If CBS was unhappy with last season's Big Brother ratings, I don't think charging people is a way to win new fans. For me, watching the live webcast makes me want to watch the television show because the a/v quality is so much better.
posted by amyscoop at 2:53 PM on July 9, 2001


I'd prefer if a portion of the $20-$50+ a month we paid for web access went to content providers - but I don't think AOL/@Home is gonna do that any time soon, or do you think they could be forced to?
posted by owillis at 3:05 PM on July 9, 2001


That would be a negatory good buddy. If you go to the bigbrother site now and click on the video link it says that you have to pay for the content. :(
posted by smackfu at 3:24 PM on July 9, 2001


"To watch Big Brother online, you need RealPlayer Gold Pass, or CBS Big Brother Season Pass."
posted by dhartung at 4:04 PM on July 9, 2001


My guess is that we will probably see networks of content providers emerge in the near-future (as Microsoft once tried to do a few years ago). You may pay one price to read the New York Times, Salon, etc.

Perhaps 2 network leaders will emerge--one being AOL/TW and the other a Microsoft-led consortium.

Other perks of network membership might include things like being able to buy tickets before they go on sale (as is already being done).
posted by timothompson at 4:29 PM on July 9, 2001


Dirjy: We have all been entertained by clever commercials in the past -- but does that mean we should pay for the cost of producing that tidbet of entertainment?

News Flash: We do. OK, OK, in practical terms, we don't, but the costs of creating, producing, and airing commercials are included in the cost of the products that we buy. Small price to pay for the entertainment that we receive.
posted by davidmsc at 4:29 PM on July 9, 2001


I posted too soo. Mea culpa.

However, there's a MLB deal with Real that will get you three months for $10.

$10 I can afford. Of course, there might be other hacks coming out over the next few days.
posted by Pinwiz at 5:10 PM on July 9, 2001


Ya know, for pay content, you should be able to get a guarantee you will see your choice of housemembers nude, and not just flash by.... :-)

Ok, I'm being silly... sorry.
posted by benjh at 5:21 PM on July 9, 2001


Dirjy: We have all been entertained by clever commercials in the past -- but does that mean we should pay for the cost of producing that tidbet of entertainment?

davidmsc: News Flash: We do. OK, OK, in practical terms, we don't, but the costs of creating, producing, and airing commercials are included in the cost of the products that we buy. Small price to pay for the entertainment that we receive.


Not quite. In that situation, you paid for a product, which the manufacturer then re-invested into the company (salary, equipment, plus advertising). That's far different from the pay-per-view commercial model I was describing above.
posted by Dirjy at 9:19 PM on July 9, 2001


Im sorry, but I can find no free feeds on the BigBrother2 site.. nor can I find anywhere on the site that says they will be free.. can someone post a link to the feeds or the press release stating they will be free? Was the original post wrong?
posted by DevilManX at 7:18 AM on July 10, 2001


Matt, I don't agree with you on this. I just think this whole CBS BB shambles is a bad example to use. CBS really is fleecing people blind over this. They have several income streams already.

TV advertisements, sponsorship deals, pay-phone calls, pay-to-view Internet feeds.....

Your argument is that they would help change an established mind-set that governs decisions about on-line content being free...I think it would have the opposite effect. That it would annoy people who realise that they are being ripped-off...and that it would inure them to the realities that day-to-day "small-time" operators have to contend with every day.

In order to establish a good supporter base, CBS needs to provide good-quality and free video streams. They already have more than enough revenue from other sources.
posted by lucien at 8:30 AM on July 21, 2001


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