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Bravo TV

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Bravo TV has become an integral part of our lives. Its reality shows are the barest form of our feeling’s depiction without any fabrication. That’s the reason why many people can relate to it. Bravo TV with its plethora of good and bad programs makes you want to stream online. From its breakout stars to its critically acclaimed originals, Bravo’s programming network is nothing short of addictive.

Bravo TV is one of my favorite reality-cum-lifestyle based channels. From haute couture to even hotter cuisine – it offers the best in fashion, beauty, design, food and pop culture. Its content is engaging and forces you to tune-in every week because of the compelling narratives.

Bravo TV – Capturing People’s Imagination

One of the shows that I love the most is the “The Real Housewives” series. I remember people asking me how they can stream it online? I get the hype and their desire to watch the show as its success has led Bravo to produce over nine iterations of the show with 10th one set to air in 2020.

I was wrong to judge that all the buzz was only around this show. Later, I found hundreds of queries surrounding “Dirty John” on my dashboard. All of these queries and engagement are the testimony of Bravo TV’s content which has been able to capture people’s imagination. Much of that can be accredited to the relatability and gossip culture.

History

Bravo was launched on December 1, 1980. This American pay television network has come a long way since its inception. Owned by NBC Universal, the channel initially focused on fine arts and creative films. As time passed, Bravo slowly transitioned into a Reality TV phenomenon.

What aired as a premium channel four decades ago for few times a week has become the mainstay for daily shows on US Television in the past two decades. Bravo has always been a home to creative independent, classic and international films. However, in the past two decades, slowly but steadily, the channel has been able to transition from pure lifestyle and movie content to reality television with shows such as ‘Southern Charm’, ‘Shahs of Sunset’, ‘Top Chef’ and ‘Real Housewives’ along with its lifestyle escapades.

Design

Though the color combination isn’t too shabby, I’m not a big fan of Bravo TV’s website or mobile app design. Sure, the white and dark blue color combination flows well throughout, the layout of the website looks as if it was a news site rather than a streaming network. On the category tab, you’ll find shows, episodes, and videos, news, schedule and bravo insider on the left and apps, shop option on the right.

Upon clicking any of the options, you’ll have an abrupt experience, not feature-wise but aesthetically. For instance, if you click on Shows > Basically Stassi, a random banner with blue and pink gradient appears which in no way relates to what you saw on the homepage. Thus, aesthetical uniformity is not evident on the website or the app.

Except for ‘Basically Stassi’, most of the shows don’t even have a dedicated banner. So, when you click on them, you see a cluttered mosaic video arrangement which doesn’t make you feel good. There’s just too much happening on every page. On each inside page, there’s ‘Most Popular’ or ‘Latest News’ widgets are placed at a random position.

The only thing I like about the website is the use of hashtags to engage the audience and that’s possibly done due to lack of space. Even the TV Guide and Schedule isn’t really convincing – there’s literally no appeal to it.

If you thought that was enough then wait till you watch their blog section. Overall, it just looks that NBC doesn’t care about the visual appeal and is driven by placing content that can help them generate revenue.

Content

While Bravo TV’s design and layout is a mess, I can’t say the same about content. Its content is really what makes the difference. It keeps you glued and if you’re like me, you wouldn’t mind paying $4-5/month for this network alone purely for its content. Bravo has been the most viewed cable TV channel among female viewers for 2017 and 2019. Bravo TV has generated 109MM live streams which come at an estimated +109% YOY growth. Though Bravo is available through Set-top-box VOD, TV Everywhere, it’s Bravo TV – its streaming service that’s making all the noise.

‘Dirty John’ was amongst the top five ad-supported cables scripted series in 2018 with an average viewership of 2.4 million. But ‘Dirty John’ isn’t the only thing working wonders for the network, new crop of originals such as ‘Southern Charm’, ‘Below Deck’, ‘Vanderpump Rules’ and ‘Below Deck Mediterranean’ are all delivering great numbers. For instance, Below Deck is on par with Dirty John to deliver the best season ever between the age group of 18-49 with an average viewership of 2.3 million.

For those who aren’t interested in the numbers but just the titles, here’s the meat: ‘Basically Stassi’, ‘Below Deck’, ‘Blind Date’, ‘Married to Medicine’, ‘Project Runway’, ‘Spy Games’, ‘Summer House’, ‘The Real Housewives of Atlanta along with RHOD, RHONJ, RHOOC’ (Dallas, New Jersey, Orange County), ‘Vanderpump Rules’, ‘Top Chef’ and ‘Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen.’

How do you stream content on the Bravo TV website?

By selecting your TV Provider and logging in with your credentials. Similar to Investigation Discovery, you’re required to find your provider and login to your account.

Desktop/Mobile experience

A significant difference between Bravo TV and Investigation Discovery is that Bravo TV allows you to watch previews on its website and ID doesn’t. Once again, these previews take forever to load and are filled with 1-minute ads. Thus, it’s doing more to irritate the audience than to persuade them to stream on the network. The moment you think about the bad website experience, there comes the app to make you feel better about it.

Sure, Bravo does allow you to watch on-demand content through Bravo Now app. But personally, this has to be amongst the worst streaming apps available on the App Store. Don’t go by what the publisher is saying but rather what users are expressing and it’s nothing but utter dismay.

Mobile App experience is horrendous

First, it asks you to upgrade your cable service or buy complete episodes on iTunes. Till then just keep previewing ad-laden poor-quality previews. If you’re thinking that linking your cable provider was easy, give it a second thought. Regardless of how good it is described on the App Store, forget money, it isn’t even worth your time.

Compatibility is the only positive

The only thing I like about its digital endeavors is that it’s compatible with a wide range of services. It supports DirecTV, Xfinity, AT&T, YouTube TV and Verizon to name a few. In addition, by signing up for an NBC Universal profile within the app, you can sync your favorite shows and track the progress. So, that’s a positive.

Plans & Pricing

Bravo TV is a website that requires you to buy a cable or satellite connection and pay hundreds of dollars to stream its premium shows. If you’re looking for a way around and do not have Cable or Satellite TV connection, here are alternative ways in which you can stream premium shows on Bravo TV. – Hulu with Live TV – $40 per month – supports on Roku, Google Chromecast, Apple TV, Amazon Fire Stick, Fire TV, Gaming Consoles – Xbox One and Xbox 360, iOS and Android Devices

– Sling TV – $25-$40 per month – supports on Oculus Go, Roku, Google Chromecast, Apple TV, Amazon Fire Stick, Fire TV, Gaming Consoles – Xbox One and Xbox 360, iOS and Android Devices

– Fubo TV – $44.99 per month – supports Roku, Amazon Fire, Android TV, Apple TV, iOS and Android Devices

– YouTube TV – $49.99 per month – supports Google Chromecast, Roku, Android TV, Apple TV, Xbox One, iOS and Android Devices

– AT&T Now – $50-$135 per month – supports Roku, Google Chromecast, Apple TV, Amazon Fire Stick, Fire Tv, iOS and Android Devices

If you’re still confused about how you can stream Bravo TV on these channels, here’s the clarification. With the aforementioned services, you get local channels such as NBC, CBS, Fox, ABC and the CW. And Bravo TV being a part of the NBC Network can be streamed easily through these packages.

Purchase Shows Online

If you don’t want to commit to any network, you can simply go and purchase online shows from iTunes, Amazon, Google Play or Vudu. For instance, if you just want to watch ‘’Dirty John”, you can buy a whole season for around $25-30. This is a great option if you aren’t a frequent television viewer and don’t intend to subscribe to a particular streaming service.

Suggestions I have for Bravo TV

Bravo TV’s content prowess is truly amazing. If the developers could match its digital presence with its quality content, this app would work wonders. I’d love to see NBC roll out an individual platform for Bravo TV where users for $5-6 can subscribe to this individual network rather than buying Cable, Satellite or Streaming networks.

Conclusion

Bravo TV has great content with a need for digital reinvention. If you love reality TV, you’ll certainly get hooked to its originals. Currently, it’s a part of cable, satellite, and streaming network offering and can be streamed for free if you have the membership.

Likes & Hates:
Reality shows
Original content
Ability to purchase individual shows
Website
App
Lack of presence as an individual reality-TV network