Broadcasting and Cable is reporting that NBCUniversal and WWE will be making changes to the way commercials are presented to viewers. The plan is to use the picture-in-picture approach during commercials so viewers will still see the action in the ring on a small screen while commercials play in a larger second screen. This was actually done once a few months ago on two episodes of Smackdown Live as a test run. CNN did it during the election coverage back in November. NBCU says that ratings were up 13% during the breaks when they did the picture-in-picture test run last year.
The idea behind this move is that viewers will stay glued to their TV’s instead of looking away during commercials. The move is supposed to appeal to advertisers.
NBCU executive vice president of ad sales Mark Marshall was quoted as saying, “a huge fan base that not only watches it live, but also watches the commercials and pays attention to the commercials. That’s part of what we’re trying to build and part of the reason why we’re doing picture in picture.”