Advertising Age recently reported that Saturday Night Live will be restructuring the program format in the upcoming (2016-17) season, dropping two commercial breaks. The decrease in commercials for the 42nd season of the sketch comedy series equals a 30% reduction in commercial load for the program.
And for advertisers, NBC will also be offering a limited opportunity to partner with “SNL” to create original branded content. These native pods will only occur six times a year, Ms. Yaccarino said.
SNL is attempting to move more into the digital method of consuming content, where viewers often have more targeted, but fewer, advertisements when they view content. Although SNL still has attractive numbers and is poised into a 2016 election cycle, which normally means higher ratings, they still are not seeing year-over-year viewer growth:
“SNL” is averaging 6.4 million live-plus-same day viewers and a 1.9 rating in the coveted 18-to-49 demographic season-to-date, flat compared to the same period last year.
It will be interesting to see how SNL attempts to balance sponsored content with the cutting-edge parody and wit that they have become known for; they’ve definitely done it thus far but this is a new arena.