‘Game of Thrones’ Premiere of Course Shatters Ratings Record, But Not for Piracy
Well, if its position as the most pirated series four years running hadn’t clued you in, Game of Thrones is a fairly popular television series. So much so, in fact, unbelievable anticipation for the Season 6 premiere shockingly brought its highest ratings yet (with a caveat or two), while HBO’s preview weekend may actually have curbed piracy.
Season 6 premiere “The Red Woman” of course brought an all-time high for the series with 10.7 million viewers, combining the on-air premiere, the first two repeats and early returns from streaming outlets HBO Go and HBO Now. Intriguingly, the number does not actually include those who watched the premiere through HBO’s free preview weekend, as Nielsen only records those actually subscribed to HBO.
Season 5 premiere “The Wars to Come” reached as high as 9.8 million viewers, while finale “Mother’s Mercy” netted a robust 10.3, though it should be noted that Sunday’s 10.8 understandably includes decreased on-air viewings, given the advent of streaming. Further along that end, “The Red Woman” didn’t quite break the piracy record of last year’s “Wars to Come,” coming in at less than 2.2 million individual downloads within the first 24 hours, though it did elevate Australia to a higher piracy rate than the U.S. for several reasons, one of which may have been HBO’s free preview weekend curbing the need.
Season 5 hovered around 20 million viewers per episode, all factored in, but will Season 6 break it? Give us a Jon Snow back, and we’ll find out. In the meantime, watch the latest Game of Thrones trailers below, and check out details of the hours to come.