Figures for existing Tours are pretty miserable. See the last TDF for example which was considered one of the best for viewership. Eurosport had a peak of 360k viewers on stage 1. By stage 2 they’re down to 140k.
Best was FTV2 with Alaphilippe in yellow and all the French tuned in. Peak viewership around 3.6 million on FTV2 and massively reduced all other times.
There’s a reason why we don’t have more Tours, they’re expensive and costs are hard to cover. Same applies for smaller races. Actually saw the Scottish race organiser go bust recently heavily in debt to stakeholders. Commentators etc unpaid.
I’d love to see a really big US Tour, would have to be interesting location wise. I never saw a single full stage of the Tour of California. Too mind numbing. But so is most stage racing for the general population.
The solution is probably to speed it all up and visually enhance the experience through AR and VR and data analytics. eBikes with rider power meters and onboard cameras so viewers can select any rider in the peloton to watch POV style from their phone app at any time and see all data they wish would be a massive step towards a sustainable and enjoyable mass watching viewership.
Teams also need reworked conceptually. Who on earth gives a monkeys about multiple hyphenated obscure sponsorship names teams. That doesn’t fit into tribal identity dynamics which make other sports so popular. Other sports centererd around popular players are almost always not team sports (tennis for example).
Cycling as a sport is regressive and you can thank the UCI and traditionalists who bought into their self servicing charade all these years for holding it back.
We should have exciting global Tours and cycling World Cup type events where teams compete in a league that matters, something where the overall structure of a year’s racing has meaning in a way a larger population can follow year round and spend money year round supporting it.
For now it’s just a niche and within that niche we have increasingly small niches.
Popularising racing has wider societal benefits in getting commuters on bikes, diversity and better pay for riders, especially women, hence why I’ve little time for traditionalists.