Bucks for Big Brother


Last year, fans of Big Brother
had the chance to check in on the TV show's 24-hour Web cams for free. This year, it's gonna cost them.

CBS is charging $19.95 for Web-cam access for the show's three-month run, with access to such other components as detailed summaries of events, a 24/7 chat room, opinion polls, a 3-D tour of the house, and video clips. Or fans can subscribe to RealNetworks' GoldPass for $9.95 a month, which will also include other related content, such as games and software downloads.

David Katz, CBS vice president, strategic planning and interactive ventures, says the online community played a vital role in the popularity of the first installment, but CBS will learn whether charging money to be part of that vital role will keep viewers tuned out.

Four live camera feeds will be available to subscribers. A free trial subscription was available through July 8, but, as of July 9, it's pay for play.