When WWE moved its secondary show to Tuesdays and renamed it SmackDown Live, viewers were greeted with a new presentation. In addition to the new logo, theme music and roster of superstars, WWE tested picture-in-picture commercials early on -- the action would continue in a small box to the left while a commercial took up the rest of the screen, audio included.
It appears as if NBCUniversal was pleased with its returns and the feedback it received from such spots and will make them more frequent in the near future.
According to Broadcasting & Cable's Jon Lafayette, NBCU has decided to make SmackDown Live (Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET on USA Network) the first show to feature these PIP ads frequently throughout the broadcast. This will go down in late May or early June, per the report.
Unlike most TV programs, sports is the perfect avenue in which to use PIP ad technology. Wrestling in particular is the ideal program as -- unlike sports, which calls TV timeouts -- action fans want to see often continues in the ring as WWE goes to commercial break.
It will be interesting to see how fans respond to seeing these spots airing frequently during SmackDown Live, as the goal is obviously to get viewers not to get off the couch or fast forward through the broadcast if watching a recorded version of the show. It seems like a win-win-win for WWE fans, the USA Network and potential advertisers.