Charging for Big Brother video streams


CBS and RealNetworks will deliver a round-the-clock multi-camera webcast from the Big Brother house for a subscription fee.

The two companies made the deal official late Tuesday in the wake of press reports that they were negotiating. The live webcast, available as the second edition of the reality TV series that debuted Thursday night, features four live videostreams. PC voyeurs can pay a single fee of $19.95 for access to the video feeds on the Big Brother site at
or they can get it with other content through RealNetworks' GoldPass online video service for $9.95 per month.

Some events, such as "challenges" among the contestants, will be edited out of the video streams until they're aired, with clips available online afterwards.

CBS had commissioned America Online to handle the streaming for the first Big Brother. No word on the reason for the switch, but there was the prospect that AOL was going to switch to Windows Media as its preferred streaming software to be included in links on Microsoft's new operating system. - Richard Tedesco