NFL Puts Fans In Lab To See What Works As Football Seeks Answers

If you notice more split-screens and fewer commercial breaks on NFL broadcasts this coming season, credit the fans who served as football's lab rats.

Last fall, as its TV ratings were in an unexpected tailspin, the National Football League invited fans into a lab designed like a living room. Technicians asked them to watch games, tracking their eyes, heart rates and skin response. They saw different ad formats, including split screens with commercials on one side and the field on the other.

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