I think it is a great idea to try to capitalize on a broader audience like 20/20 has done in Cricket.
This analogy to cricket is a great one.
I have no opinion one way or the other on cricket, but 4-day games interrupted by tea breaks and stuff ... come ON!
That form of competition was invented when the players were gentlemen who took a 3-month boat trip to play Australia in the mid-1800s, and cricket was basically the only organised sport in the British Empire.
Hardly anybody is willing or, more importantly, able to take that much time out of their lives every week just to watch guys in white sweaters hit balls.
They'll still do it for Test matches, because those are the pinnacle of the sport. But Random County 1 vs. Random County 2? Nah.
I'm a diehard cycling fan without a 9-5 job that would stop me from watching every race that's on TV, but even I have better things to do than to stare at a TV screen for 4 hours while 200 guys in lycra make their way through the landscape in some sh*t small race. I may have it on as "background noise", and depending on the stage profile I may drop other things for the final and/or the sprint.
That doesn't mean I'm not glued to the screen all-day when a Monument is on. Or indeed the Omloop last Saturday.
Also, I came to cycling through watching the Tour de France, and learned about the other races along the way. I am confident that this is the way most cycling fans get interested, unless there's a bike race passing by their doorstep every year. But very few of us are afforded that luxury, and most that are live in a very congested area in the Low Countries.
Hardly anybody starts out as a cycling fan by watching a 7-hour broadcast of Paris-Roubaix. But of those who get into cycling in other ways, some will end up like that. And the more people take some interest in cycling, the more people will end up watching that epic slog through mudstained pavés in Northern France.