NBC certainly has its faults but I do appreciate having an entire season instead of an one night event.
I think part of the issue comes to by the time of Vegas, most competitors are pretty serious. Serious in the sense that they actually have a chance at beating stage 1. In Sasuke, the earlier numbers are filled with jokes who realistically have no chance. This means that either elite ninjas get partially ignored or newcomers who could breakout in the future can be ignored. A huge example of this is Geoff Britten. Despite beating stage 4 in season 7, he was only shown for a few seconds in season 6. A lot of us who criticize American Ninja Warrior for cutting/digesting runs tend to conveniently forget that Sasuke does the same thing,
Yes, the stories get out of hand for NBC. But I get the need for it. It does make some of the ninjas more relatable and it is cool to see some inspiring stories and some put it to good use like Austin Gray helping people get kidney donations. And stage 2 is a solg. They need to make it take less time. If they can cut a minute off stage 2, they can get more runs for when it actually starts getting more serious.