Here we are at the tenth series of Big Brother. It seems Channel 4 are trying to kill it off or maybe they are just too skint to produce programming properly anymore.
I had to make my point known to Channel 4 this time after just hoping that the withdrawal of the live feed for Celebrity Big Brother earlier this was just for that series. ( See my previous blog on this Live Feed for Celebrity Big Brother )
I saw a couple of links on Digital Spy to email Endermol and Channel 4 to let them know about public dissatisfaction at no live feed so promptly emailed them with the following email text not expecting much of a reply.
I just want to say not providing live feed is the biggest mistake for the Big Brother series.
It will show in the viewing figures shortly and the advertising revenues will fall.
Please stress to Channel 4 that big brother is not big brother without the live feed.
Quite surprisingly I got a prompt rely from both Endermol and Channel4 both of which have been a generic reply apparently.
Thanks very much for your email. I’m sure you understand this is ultimately C4’s call but I will make sure your concerns are passed on to them.
As producers of BB we really appreciate your support for the show.
Thanks again and all the best,
Channel 4 replied:
Andy Duncan has asked me to reply on his behalf and let you know that he is aware of the strength of feeling about the live feed. Unfortunately, we found that less and less people were watching the live feed, so although it must be very frustrating for loyal fans like yourself, it has reached a point where we could no longer justify offering this service on a twenty four hour basis. I am very sorry to be the bearer of this news, but I hope that you will still be able to enjoy this latest series of Big Brother.
Hmmm I just had to reply to this as follows to try and get the point across.
Firstly I would like to thank you for your prompt reply and taking the trouble to explain the C4 position regarding the live feed.
I appreciate that maybe the actual number of people viewing the live feed over a long period like this programme runs is likely to be a low figure overall. However the main point of the live feed is the viral effect it has from the few watchers spreading the word of the latest sensational happenings in the house.
These in return boost the viewing figures for the main C4 Big Brother show. I notice that even the official BB site has few updates of what is happening in the house and this reflects on the other web sites that are well known for supporting BB and getting the word out. Digital Spy is a good example of this if you look at the number of articles posted this year so far compared to last year shows how important the live feed is.
Anyway I am sure as an expert in the field you are aware of all of the above. I would however like to put a suggestion forward that if you cannot afford to give the live feed in this current economic climate that instead you make available the peak hours of the house available on 4OD i.e. the full filming of the tasks etc.
Thank you for your time
And I actually got another reply …..
Sadly, there would be the same cost problems with making the live feed available on 4oD, as we would still have to ensure that it did not breach any of the Broadcast Code, which is where most of the costs lie.
Sorry not to have a more positive answer
This confirms it is a financial decision to stop the live feed. However this is so far proving to be a cost cutting exercise that has been a big mistake. Already the viewing figures are well down ( at this time only the overnights are available).
And although the current results of the election and the attempts to unseat Gordon Brown have taken the front pages of the newspapers there has been very little Big Brother comment elsewhere in the popular papers. I can only put that down to the lack of the live feed to have the latest scandals from the house in time for it to be news worthy.
Anyway enough from me on this for now the actual outcome can be seen after the series and whether another series is commissioned or the live feed is restored to rescue the series from disaster.