What Do You Think About This Ninja Warrior Advertising Technique?

American Ninja Warrior is doing something a little different this season.

Once per episode, before they cut to commercial break, the announcers say something to the effect of, “Stay tuned during the commercial to watch X competitor’s run through the course.”

At that point, the TV screen is divided in 2 parts: In the upper left is a commercial (video + audio), and in the bottom right is footage of X competitor on the Ninja Warrior course. Typically it’s an experienced, semi-famous competitor.

Normally I skip the commercials for any show I’m watching…but without fail, I’ve watched every one of these commercial breaks in their duration so I can watch the competitor’s run through the course. Sometimes I mute the commercial, sometimes not, but it’s unavoidable.

I’ve wavered back and forth on this advertising technique, but my current conclusion is that it’s brilliant and I wish the show would do it more often. In fact, I’d like to see other sports do the same thing. It seems like a win-win situation: I get to see more of the game/competition than I otherwise would, and the show benefits from more advertising dollars, as they’re getting more eyes on the commercials.

What do you think? Does this technique make you watch through the commercial break? Or does it just annoy you?