Fox Broadcasting says that during a commercial break in Thursday
night's American Idol results show,
it will also broadcast live scenes from the stage and backstage.
The network says that sponsors Ford, Coca-Cola and AT&T
are on board to allow a second box showing programming on the screen while
their commercials air. The sponsors will get on-screen graphics to give them
added exposure during these breaks.
Fox says this is the first time programming and commercials
have shared the screen during an entertainment show. The tactic has become
popular in sports programming -- particularly auto racing and soccer -- so that
viewers can continue to follow the action during commercial breaks.
Fox says the "double box" keeps viewers connected to the storytelling
of the program by giving the feeling of being at a live show, keeping them
attentive through the commercial pod.
Keeping viewers tuned in through commercial breaks has been
a long-time goal of television programmers, particularly since the advent of
the digital video recorder.