'Big Brother' Live Feeds Are Crucial to Understanding Houseguests on the Reality Show

'Big Brother's live feeds are important to the most die hard fans of the series, but they've been the subject of controversy over the years.

Chrissy Bobic - Author

Aug. 2 2023, Published 11:02 a.m. ET

Big Brother host Julie Chen Moonves
Source: CBS

The Big Brother live feeds are part of what makes the reality show so special to so many fans decades after it premiered on CBS. But there have been some controversies surrounding the live feeds from over the years and every season, fans worry that producers or network executives will do away with the feeds for good.

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That still hasn't happened, even though Big Brother Canada followed through in getting rid of fans' access to the the 24/7 cameras that are almost always on the houseguests between episodes. In many ways, the Big Brother live feeds are the best part of the series. They allow an even closer peek into what the houseguests do while sequestered in the Big Brother compound and how relationships form or crack outside of each live or edited episode.

Big Brother live feeds
Source: CBS
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The fees do something for Big Brother that other reality shows don't. They give viewers nearly unlimited access to the players in the game. Sometimes, it helps fans see just how well (or poorly) someone plays. Other times, it lets them in on a houseguest's sordid behavior that may not make it into an episode on-air. And to many, therein lies the problem with Big Brother live feeds.

What is the controversy about 'Big Brother's live feeds?

The live feeds aren't like Big Brother episodes that air on CBS. There's even a disclaimer when you watch the feeds that lets you know the network doesn't support or endorse the opinions or actions of the houseguests. That's because there have been some questionable moments from players that the live feed cameras caught. Not the least of which included racially-charged comments and physical intimacy that some houseguests may not want on the show.

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Because of that, there has been scrutiny about the live feeds over the years. And in 2023, Big Brother Canada got rid of the feeds altogether. This led fans to worry about the future of the feeds for the U.S. version of the series. Luckily, they're here to stay.

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And as most dedicated fans can attest to, the feeds offer a much-needed peek into the game that the edited episodes just don't offer. You can learn about where someone's head is really at and see relationship dynamics that are sometimes only hinted at in the show.

Taylor Hale celebrates her win on Big Brother Season 24
Source: CBS
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Former Big Brother winners Taylor Hale and Janelle Pierzina spoke to Entertainment Weekly ahead of the Big Brother 25 premiere and spoke highly of the live feeds as part of the show's culture.

Taylor said the feeds "felt like the ultimate safety net" for her and a way to own up to any misdeeds or comments that offended others. She added, "Or if something's being manipulated, you can't manipulate the live feeds."

Janelle said that, while she can understand the decision to get rid of feeds from the business side of things, she also knows the value in the feeds for the players. She said she "wouldn't want to be edited into something that [she's] not." The live feeds offer players the chance to show other sides of themselves.

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How can you watch the live feeds between 'Big Brother' episodes?

The Paramount Plus app offers live feed access to paying subscribers. They're offered ad-free in one dedicated stream. The feeds are always down during live episodes and other times, when the players are filming pre-taped competitions. But you can watch them between episodes.

And starting with Season 25, Pluto TV offers five live feed channels under a Big Brother category. In other words, there's little reason you shouldn't check out the live feeds at some point.

Watch Big Brother on Sundays and Wednesdays at 8 p.m. EST and Thursdays at 9 p.m. EST on CBS.

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