‘Hunger Games’ boosts Olympic archery ratings?

US TV executive attributes the sport's ratings success to the 'Hunger Games' phenomenon

The popularity of The Hunger Games appears to have boosted interest in the Olympic sport of archery.

Yesterday (August 12), NBC’s Alan Wurtzel revealed that its cable archery coverage has averaged 1.5 million viewers so far, making it the most-watched sport of the London 2012 Olympics in the US. He compared the unexpected popularity of the sport to curling, which has become a cult viewing hit during recent Winter Olympic Games.

Attempting to explain the unprecedented ratings, Wurtzel said: “Archery is the new curling. 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.”

In the Hunger Games novels by author Suzanne Collins, heroine Katniss Everdeen develops archery skills to ensure her survival in the cut-throat post-apocalyptic nation of Panem. Actress Jennifer Lawrence trained with professional archer Khatuna Lorig, who is competing at the London 2012 Olympics, for her role in the film.

Released in March (2012), The Hunger Games grossed more than $683 million (£438 million) at the box office worldwide. Later this summer (2012), Lawrence will begin shooting the sequel, Catching Fire, which is scheduled for release in November 2013.