WWE is apparently taking the “live” part of SmackDown Live quite seriously.
During Tuesday’s inaugural broadcast of SmackDown Live, the WWE strayed away from the company’s tendency to break for commercial in the midst of ongoing matches. Instead, the WWE implemented a split-screen approach (seen above) and continued to air a match alongside commercials.
The first and only occurrence came during a match between the heralded John Cena and Luke Gallows of “The Club.”
While it remains to be seen as to whether this strategy becomes a weekly occurrence, it is surely in WWE’s best interest to use the split-screen in order to keep fans engaged despite being forced to break for commercial throughout the two-hour broadcast. Previously, fans openly complained about the WWE using a break in the middle of matches in order to air various advertisements, most of which are marketing for their own corresponding products such as the WWE Network and WWE Shop.
It is also worth noting that SmackDown – now known as SmackDown Live – previously struggled in the ratings against its counterpart in Monday Night Raw, which has always been a live broadcast. As a result, SmackDown Live has switched to a live broadcast on Tuesday instead of a show recorded on Tuesday to air Thursday.