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NBCUniversal is now using ‘picture-in-picture’ technology during commercial breaks on WWE SmackDown on the USA Network.
‘Picture-in-picture’ means that when the show goes to commercial, the sound from the show goes ‘off’ and the broadcast window is shrunk down, but viewers are still able to see what’s happening while the commercials play with sound and motion in a second, bigger window.
NBCUniversal has been testing the technology on the weekly wrestling show since it went live last summer (having previously been a pre-recorded show), but it is now set to be a permanent fixture, according to a report in Broadcast & Cable.
When testing picture-in-picture ads on WWE SmackDown in the past, NBCUniversal reportedly found that ratings went up 13 per cent during those commercial breaks.
NBCUniversal is also preparing to deploy the same technology during its coverage of the 2018 Winter Olympics.
Josh Feldman, NBCU Executive Vice President of Network Partnerships, commented: “We want to improve the viewing experience for fans with marketing and advertising, versus just having marketing advertising be part of the viewing experience. Picture-in-picture improves the viewing experience. That’s the mission of what we’re trying to do here.”