HBO confirmed the viewership numbers for the “Game of Thrones” Season 8 premiere, proudly announcing a new record for the series. Over 17.4M viewers watched the season premiere last night on HBO’s platforms, setting the largest streaming night in HBO’s history.
The ‘Winterfell’ episode also set new Twitter records for the franchise, and the premiere was the most tweeted episode ever for “Game of Thrones.” The show had more than 5M tweets and 11M mentions throughout the weekend. That was enough to keep “Game of Thrones” trending in multiple countries, and quickly topped the other shows on Sunday night.
The season 8 premiere is also the last season premiere for the long-running show, which is ending after this season. The 17.4M viewers include anyone that watched across linear, HBOGO and HBO Now platforms. The previous record was 16.9M viewers, which HBO recorded for the season 7 finale. The season 7 premiere had 16.1M viewers, so when compared to last season, “Game of Thrones” picked up over 1M new viewers. Not bad for a show that has been off the air for almost two years.
Streaming the show was more popular this year as more and more customers are cutting the cord. The HBO Now streaming service jumped approximately 50% in viewing when compared to last season’s finale and nearly doubled (97%) when compared to the seventh season premiere.
As for linear TV, the 9 p.m. airing was viewed by 11.8M viewers, rising past the season seven premiere of 10M. The linear premiere landed behind the season seven finale of 12.1M, but HBO stated that the carriage dispute with Dish most likely caused this decrease in viewership.
Season eight hasn’t beaten all the records yet. Last year’s season averaged 32.8M million viewers per episode, so season 8 will have to top that mark to become the new champ. HBO thinks that viewership will grow considerably over the run of season eight.
We should mention that only one show in television history has gained viewership every week after the premiere, and that is “Killing Eve’s” first season on BBC America.
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