'Hunger Games' fever: Archery tops Olympics cable ratings

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Yup, archery is firmly hot.

Ratings for Olympic coverage of the sport have surged on cable, say NBC Sports chief Mark Lazarus and NBC Research President Alan Wurtzel. And the executives have a suspicion why.

“Archery is the new curling,” Wurtzel said. “The numbers for archery have been nothing less than huge. Maybe it’s The Hunger Games phenomenon. We’re going to keep an eye on that.”

The executives told reporters on a conference call Thursday morning that archery coverage on MSNBC and NBC Sports Network have rated higher than any other Summer Games sport on cable so far this year, averaging 1.5 million viewers and beating out basketball as the top Olympic sport among the network’s non-broadcast network coverage.

Olympic archer Khatuna Lorig (pictured) trained actress Jennifer Lawrence on how to dispatch rivals as Katniss in The Hunger Games. Archery was also featured in the recent Pixar movie Brave and in The Avengers. Plus, there’s two upcoming new fall TV shows that have plenty of bow-and-arrow action: NBC’s Revolution and The CW’s Arrow.

RELATED: NBC defends Olympics coverage: Calls critics a ‘loud minority’


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