In an effort to improve declining ratings, a change could be made to Smackdown Live and other programming.
According to Broadcasting and Cable, NBC Universal and WWE are making a few changes to the way viewers see commercials during Smackdown Live broadcasts. The plan is to air the programming in a picture-in-picture during commercials.
WWE and USA tested this method out and met positive reception, with ratings seeing a healthy increase of 13 percent during that period. The hope is that fans won't tune out during commercials, as they'll still be able to see the action.
NBCU's Mark Marshall stated the following:
“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.”
NBCU has also tried the method with Hairspray Live!