GAME OF THRONES final season premiere is a record breaker

POST UPDATED*

The stats for episode 1 of the final season of GAME OF THRONES are simply staggering!

As local broadcaster FOXTEL threatens legal action against the 1.77 million Australian’s who illegally download the show, the subscription service still has plenty of reasons to smile as the premiere episode of the final season of GOT delivers strong numbers.

The episode had 962,000 viewers across all airings. The 3.20pm showing drew the biggest number with 293,000, followed by the 8.30pm airing on 263,000 and the 11am simulcast with the US on 193,000. Comparing with Free To Air television the 962k figure would have made it the 3rd most watched show of the night, beaten only by 7 News and 7 News/Today Tonight.

FOXTEL says this is an increase of 17% on the season seven premiere in 2017.

The first episode also delivered an additional total premiere day audience of 333,000 who streamed it live or On Demand across Foxtel Now and Foxtel GO – the biggest daily VPM audience for 2019.

Brian Walsh, Foxtel’s Executive Director of Television said;

“The Wall may have fallen but last night’s ratings have rocketed Game of Thrones higher than ever as Australia joined the rest of the world in watching this global television event in numbers never before seen on Foxtel. Yesterday’s viewership is a testament to the hunger that fans have had over the past two years for the return of the unrivalled action, drama and intrigue that only Game of Thrones can deliver and we are thrilled with the result. Frankly there is no other show like it. It is the television series of a generation,”

“On Demand streaming of all past seasons of Game of Thrones on FOX SHOWCASE was higher than ever as fans binged in anticipation of the season premiere and we fully expect today’s record breaking numbers to grow as even more customers continue watch encore screenings and relive the action On Demand.”

A survey from finder.com.au found 30 per cent of Australians who watch the show downloaded it illegally, meaning if FOXTEL could persuade those viewers to watch legally, their numbers would be through the roof! 

The companion show Thronecast: War Room (a UK production) had 49,000 viewers while the locally produced Thrones 360 with James Mathison and Stephanie Bendixsen failed to make the top 20.

In the United States, the episode was watched by a record 17.4 million viewers across HBO’s platforms (linear, HBOGO and HBO NOW), exceeding the previous series high of 16.9 million viewers for the season seven finale. Compared to the season seven premiere audience of 16.1 million, the season eight premiere grew by over a million viewers.

The HBO NOW streaming service saw a jump of approximately 50% in viewing when compared to last season’s finale and nearly doubled (97%) when compared to the seventh season premiere. Yesterday accounts for largest night of streaming activity ever for HBO.

HBO reports the 9:00 p.m. airing of the premiere was viewed by 11.8 million viewers, surpassing the season seven premiere of 10.1 million viewers and slightly behind the season seven finale of 12.1 million viewers. (Note: The linear viewership of HBO was likely impacted by the carriage dispute with Dish.)

On social media, last night’s premiere was the most-Tweeted-about episode of GAME OF THRONES ever, with more than five million Tweets, and 11 million mentions throughout the course of the weekend.