Research shows that most of the TV audience in France for the Tour de France tune in for the scenery.It's probably true outside of France also.
InnerRing has an interesting look behind the scenes at the planning that goes into all those great pick up shots they use...especially as filler when the race is less than totally fascinating.
The local displays that are designed for helicopter coverage have always intrigued me as to how they come to be organised. This gives a little of the background.
'Some of the story is written well in advance. The often elaborate displays in fields by farmers are planned and the French farmers’ union even emails the GPS co-ordinates to Ooghe (the TV director) so he can be sure the TV helicopter cameras are ready'.