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Archery the latest Olympic phenomenon

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Mexico's Mariana Avitia shoots for a bronze medal during the individual archery competition at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Thursday, Aug. 2, 2012, in London. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

NEW YORK >> Archery is the new curling.

NBC said today that during the first few days of its Olympics coverage, archery was the most popular sport of any that it aired on its cable networks — bigger even than basketball. Archery averaged 1.5 million viewers when it came on TV.

NBC Sports Group Chairman Mark Lazarus attributed the interest in part to the popularity of “The Hunger Games” getting young people interested in bows and arrows. American archer Brady Ellison is also a big draw.

It is reminiscent of when recent Winter Olympics telecasts fueled an interest in curling.

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