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‘Game of Thrones’ Season 8 Premiere Breaks Series Record With 17.4 Million Multiplatform Viewers

The Wrap Monday, 15 April 2019
‘Game of Thrones’ Season 8 Premiere Breaks Series Record With 17.4 Million Multiplatform Viewers17.4 million multiplatform viewers just bent a knee to HBO’s “Game of Thrones” Season 8 premiere, setting a new series record and accounting for “the largest night of streaming activity ever for HBO,” per the pay-TV channel.

The eighth season’s start, titled “Winterfell,” claimed that viewer tally when combining linear data, as well as that from HBO Go and HBO Now platforms, per HBO. When counting just those who tuned in “live” to watch the premiere on HBO at 9 p.m., the episode scored 11.8 million viewers.

That count puts the Season 8 premiere ahead of Season 7’s in terms of linear viewers — as that “GoT” installment hauled in 10.1 million overall sets of eyeballs in the “live” metric — but behind the seventh season’s finale, which earned 12.1 million viewers.

The Season 7 finale, which aired way back on Aug. 27, 2017, was also the previous record holder for multiplatform viewers, growing from its 12.1 million mark to 16.9 million when counting Go/Now and same-night reruns, according to HBO.

*Also Read:* Inside the Mountain-Size 'Game of Thrones' Ratings Growth From Seasons 1-7

HBO’s preferred internal numbers, which count HBO Go, HBO Now and repeats, cut off 30 days after each season finale. Per HBO’s own count — so yes, that month-plus-long version — U.S. viewership per season has been:
Season 1: 9.3 million
Season 2: 11.6 million
Season 3: 14.4 million
Season 4: 19.1 million
Season 5: 20.2 million
Season 6: 25.7 million
Season 7: 32.8 million

*Also Read:* 'Game of Thrones': John Bradley on Why Sam Thinks Daenerys Is 'Psychopathic' After Season 8 Premiere

Below is Nielsen’s version, which counts 7 days of delayed viewing per episode. This is a more typical way of looking at things, but it does not count HBO’s significant streaming additions.

Season 1:  3.3 million
Season 2:  4.9 million
Season 3:  6.4 million
Season 4:  9.0 million
Season 5:  9.5 million
Season 6:  10.6 million
Season 7:  13.7 million

HBO penetrates about one-third of U.S. homes and the premium-cable channel was dropped by Dish at the end of last year. So putting up these kind of numbers (both HBO’s versions and Nielsen’s) for a show that isn’t as accessible as those on broadcast and basic cable is very impressive.

“Game of Thrones” airs Sundays at 9/8c on HBO.

*Related stories from TheWrap:*

'Game of Thrones': John Bradley on Why Sam Thinks Daenerys Is 'Psychopathic' After Season 8 Premiere

What Casey Bloys (and Bob Greenblatt) Learned From Richard Plepler's 'Game of Thrones' Patience

'Game of Thrones' Season 8 Death Watch: Who's Dead and How Bloody Was It?

'Game of Thrones' Season 8 Premiere: 7 Biggest Questions Answered and 15 We Have Left
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‘Game of Thrones’ Season 8 Premiere Breaks Series Record With Views 00:38

17.4 million multiplatform viewers just bent a knee to HBO’s “Game of Thrones” Season 8 premiere, setting a new series record. The Season 7 finale, which aired way back on Aug. 27, 2017, was the previous record holder. That episode drew 12.1 million “live” linear viewers at 9 p.m., per...

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