In a very interesting piece of news today NBC announced its plan to air the “two-part season finale” of American Ninja Warrior 3 sometime this fall. Presumably the opening round, the semi-finals and the boot camp will still be shown on G4, and then a big season finale will show the top ten Americans competing in Ninja Warrior Japan (Sasuke 27). Maybe “two-part season finale” means two hours of show, maybe more…who knows? Comcast owns G4, and recently purchased NBC, so this is a piece of synergy under the Comcast media umbrella.
For competitors this means, if the show is successful on NBC, an increased probability American Ninja Warrior will even be around to compete in. Prior to this announcement there was a fear that this American Ninja Warrior might be the last one given the Ninja Warrior in Japan is rumored to be on the brink of cancellation. If ANW is popular on NBC, then it could mean either one of two positive things: (1) NBC pays a big enough fee to Ninja Warrior that they continue to run the event even though it might not be popular in its domestic market anymore, or (2) that NBC really likes ANW and makes it its own standalone competition with an increased obstacle set should Ninja Warrior Japan get cancelled. Either way, it means that this silly little obstacle course that so many of us are fond of might stay around a while longer than we had been expecting.
Another piece of news is that K-Swiss is now the big sponsor for American Ninja Warrior, which makes a lot of sense as K-Swiss has a very prominent line of free-running shoes. The “prize” for being the first American to complete all four stages at Ninja Warrior has been increased to a $500k endorsement contract with K-Swiss and getting featured in a national ad campaign.
You can read the G4 press release about all this information here.