If you happened to watch the first-ever episode of Smackdown Live last July (you know; the one with the WWE Draft), You probably remember the very bold experiment that show took when it continued matches through commercial breaks, via a picture-in-picture feed that played the live action alongside ads.
This approach for live sports is not a new development for longtime fans of NASCAR, but it’s still fairly revolutionary for other sports, and especially for professional wrestling, where fans have been grumbling about commercial breaks during matches ever since there have been commercial breaks during matches.
It appears that July experiment with the picture-in-picture during commercial breaks was just that: an experiment. And if you liked that test, you’ll like this news. Broadcasting Cable reports that NBCUniversal is planning to make those picture-in-picture ad breaks a regular part of the Smackdown live experience in the near future. This will also serve as a pilot program of sorts for this type of ad break, as NBCU hopes to implement the same strategy in the Winter Olympics in 2018.
The new ad strategy will reportedly be implemented in late May or early June, and the test results indicate the practice is definitely effective in retaining viewers. So rejoice, everyone: we’re about to see those restholds we’ve been missing out on. Every glorious chinlock, live and in color.