Game of Thrones ratings overview: pre-S7 edition

Hey there, everyone! What an awesome start to the new season of Game of Thrones. So much so that the ratings news came out earlier than expected, but we need not have fretted — Luka had it all covered! Yesterday’s post puts the numbers into perspective, so today I’m mostly just adding the visual perspective as well. Yes, it’s again time for a ratings graph!

GoT ratings graph

As has become standard over the years, we will be comparing the live ratings of the first airing of each GoT episode to those of other comparable flagship HBO series, namely True Blood, Boardwalk Empire, and this time around also Westworld (visit our sister site, if you are a fan and haven’t done so yet). The runs of other shows of different season length have been compressed to line up with that of Thrones. Yes, I know this is not a scientific graph, but I still believe it is a useful visualization that gives a good overview.

The previous season finale came close to 9 million, but not exceeding it, while this season’s opening added over a million first-airing viewers, which broke the 10 million milestone. The value of 10.1 million is indicated by the short blue dash in the graph above. The other number, 16.1 million viewers across all platforms on the premiere night is also significant — remember that last season’s average total viewers per episode counting all the repeats and means of watching the show in the weeks after the initial airing was last reported at 25.1 million. I’m pretty confident that we’re on a good way to break this record (which means most to HBO) once again this year.

51 responses

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    1. Hodor!

      Thanks for the graph. It helps to show just how significant this accomplishment truly is.

      I’m unclear on one thing, though. When saying all platforms, does that include regional, or whatever the term is? For example, I watch on HBO Nordic, along with everyone else in a Scandinavian country. Are those views counted in the 16 million count?

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    2. Hear Marko Roar:
      No, I believe these are all US only. So imagine the total audience worldwide! 🙂

      Yes, and that seems to be the way it’s been all along.
      There have been some data on UK viewing and a think a few other countries, but nothing consistent. Apparently HBO knows the real total long term magic number which includes past season and series viewing after a season is over, DvD sales, stuff … but has never published it.

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    3. nymeriathedirewolf:
      Thanks for the graph. It helps to show just how significant this accomplishment truly is.

      It is quite an accomplishment. This show is massive.

      Quick question, Marko: “The Sopranos” is not included in this graph. It would be interesting to see their ratings in comparison to GOT, if you have that data.

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    4. For those interested, Game of Thrones drew an audience of 2.83 million in the UK (2am +9pm airings). That’s up 30% on the season 6 premiere of 2.20 million. The article mentions that 4.5 million viewers are expected to have watched the episode on catch up after a week. Huge (record) numbers for Sky!

      http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/game-thrones-season-7-premiere-sets-ratings-record-uks-sky-atlantic-1021993

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    5. GeekFurious,

      Get furious, geek 😉 I know, I know … it’s annoying.

      mariamb,

      I agree, it would be interesting – but there just isn’t any reliable episode by episode data of the same kind. Wikipedia gives some reported numbers, which are reliable for the last two season (three if you count 6.1 and 6.2 as separate ones) – the season averages are between 8 and 10 million, with the record for an individual episode reaching 12 million. GoT is in that range.

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    6. This is amazing, what’s more amazing is when you realize that the number of times a certain episode was watched isn’t the same as the number of people who have watched that same episode. What might be counted as a single viewing could have been watched by more than 100 people. For example: https://youtu.be/YRvyTBVh-Js

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    7. Hear Marko Roar,

      Thanks for the answer! It’s too bad they don’t give worldwide totals, but maybe the logistics behind it are too complicated. Even a general idea of what percentage the US viewership is could be fun to find out, if for no other reason than to fully see the impact this show has had/will have. Maybe one day they’ll relent. 🙂

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    8. stefan666:
      This is amazing, what’s more amazing is when you realize that the number of times a certain episode was watched isn’t the same as the number of people who have watched that same episode. What might be counted as a single viewing could have been watched by more than 100 people. For example: https://youtu.be/YRvyTBVh-Js

      It’s funny that a few years ago HBO was trying to shut down large public viewings like the Burlington Bar does, but now the show runners are actively encouraging it. Apparently they sent a thank you to the bar owner. I guess they feel the hundreds of thousands of views the bar’s videos get offsets the hundred or so individual viewings that HBO may be losing?

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    9. Hear Marko Roar,

      Thanks. Its unfortunate that those #s aren’t available.

      stefan666:
      This is amazing, what’s more amazing is when you realize that the number of times a certain episode was watched isn’t the same as the number of people who have watched that same episode. What might be counted as a single viewing could have been watched by more than 100 people.

      Absolutely. The actual number of people watching is certainly much larger and that’s staggering to consider.

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    10. No wonder HBO has 4 GoT related is that associated? shows in the works!
      Really as a visual drama there is nothing like it on TV*.
      I like Westworld , but I don’t think that story has ‘legs’.
      Except for movies I don’t watch any other HBO shows even tho there are good ones but they just don’t pull me in.

      *I am now addicted to THE EXPANSE, it is also unique , like GoT unlike anything else on TV right now.
      (Tho Mr Robot , Man in a High Castle and Stranger Things come close.)

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    11. I wonder how it is in Europe. In Belgium with a normal TV subscription, what most people have, you cannot see it. You can only see it with a very expensive extra subscription. I think only Game of Thrones fans have that extra subscription, because the rest they show isn’t worth the money. Netflix is better and cheaper to see tv-shows and movies, but they don’t have Game of Thrones.

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    12. Ed Sheeran needs to suck it up. Yes, it’s pathetic that people are attacking him for this, but just go to the Twitter feed of any top female pop star and take a look at the hate spewed at them on a daily basis. It’s pretty bad but they don’t delete their accounts.

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    13. Jack Bauer 24,

      How stupid is that! Ed Sheeran was allright. And even if he wasn’t, there is absolutely no reason to attack him on Twitter. If I didn’t know he played a cameo, I wouldn’t have noticed him.

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    14. Dee Stark:
      Jack Bauer 24,

      this is absolutely ridiculous
      sometimes I dislike this fandom LOLOLOL

      FUCKING CHILL PEOPLE

      Agreed. If I didn’t already know he was in the episode i wouldn’t have even recognized him. Shame he has been bullied off social media.

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    15. Chilli:
      I wonder how it is in Europe. In Belgium with a normal TV subscription, what most people have, you cannot see it. You can only see it with a very expensive extra subscription. I think only Game of Thrones fans have that extra subscription, because the rest they show isn’t worth the money. Netflix is better and cheaper to see tv-shows and movies, but they don’t have Game of Thrones.

      Same here in Germany!
      But Sky had a special offer this year, you can basically watch GoT for 2€ this year and it crashed on Monday.

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    16. Ah that’s the graph I was looking for in the ratings article

      Fantastic stuff

      Seems the long off-season has led to some built up tension, I reckon they’ll maintain it too given there seems to be a battle every second episode

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    17. Love how everyone is shitting on Sheeran, when they themselves would give their left nut and first born child to play Dead Tyrell Soldier #34 in any given episode. Can’t we have a modicum of respect for (famous) fellow fans?

      I don’t even really care for Ed Sheeran either so this is annoying on a couple levels.

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    18. Knight of the Walkers:
      For those interested, Game of Thrones drew an audience of 2.83 million in the UK (2am +9pm airings). That’s up 30% on the season 6 premiere of 2.20 million. The article mentions that 4.5 million viewers are expected to have watched the episode on catch up after a week. Huge (record) numbers for Sky!

      http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/game-thrones-season-7-premiere-sets-ratings-record-uks-sky-atlantic-1021993

      Great to hear that. I’m one of those along with thousands of other British ex-pats and folks in Europe who can get Sky Atlantic.

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    19. Lyanna_Targaryen,

      I guess “Dragonstone” will become known as Ed Sheeran’s episode. And you’re so right how everyone would grab an opportunity for a cameo apperiance in the show (myself included if possible).

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    20. Lord Parramandas,

      TBH, I’d never heard of Ed Sheeran before it was announced on this website. As others have said, if one didn’t know that Sheeran had a cameo in S7, he would probably have gone unrecognized – for me certainly.

      Quite why he’s come off Twitter beats me. I don’t (and never will) subscribe to it, but users who are well known must get a lot of abuse from it. As someone above said – Ed Sheeran needs to suck it up.

      How does that old saying go? “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me” ?

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    21. Black Raven,

      I heard of him before and I can say I was positively surprised as his cameo apperiance was an actual scene, not just 3 seconds of standing in the background barely visible like all celebrity apperiances so far.

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    22. Lord Parramandas,

      But other than him leading the singing with his fellow Lannister soldiers, he didn’t say much – did he 😉

      Last year, there was a series on Sky called ‘The Bastard Executioner” and from what I recall Ed Sheeran had quite an extensive acting role in that (as did the actor who played Yoren back in earlier GoT seasons). Sheeran’s acting was fine from what I remember, but don’t recall him doing any singing – He was one of the ‘bad guys’ in that show!

      To appear on GoT in any capacity; even as an extra, must be a great experience. In the case of Sheeran, I believe it was Maisey Williams (Arya) who approached B&W and asked them if he could do a cameo on the show being a fan of his and they agreed.

      I heard that Maisey got a load of hate messages and abuse via Twitter in the past (perhaps she still does) from jealous people who never made it into the ‘big time’, but as far as I know she still has a Twitter account and doesn’t let shit like that get her down… Ed Sheeren needs to do the same.

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    23. Didn´t Linda & Elio predict the show would tank terribly because it sucks?
      Tsk, tsk – these kidders.

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    24. flintstonewielder:
      Didn´t Linda & Elio predict the show would tank terribly because it sucks?
      Tsk, tsk – these kidders.

      And since when were Elio and Linda a good representation of GoT fandom… well unless you are a certain GoT Wikia admin. They’ve been bashing the show for all the time basically, calling Red Wedding a bad scene and stuff. Linda even named herself “the mouth of GRRM”, like she speaks with author’s voice.

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    25. Dee Stark,

      The article does point out that he’d already stopped using Twitter.

      “I’ve actually come off Twitter completely,” he said a month ago. “I can’t read it. I go on it and there’s nothing but people saying mean things. One comment ruins your day. But that’s why I’ve come off it.”

      So it’s not necessarily Game of Thrones fans who made him delete his account.

      Not all of the comments he received regarding his cameo will have been from Game of Thrones fans either, since he was apparently already on the receiving end of trolling. The cameo will have just been another thing for the trolls to use against him.

      Personally, I don’t have a huge amount of sympathy for him. Of course, he doesn’t deserve to be trolled or insulted. But if he couldn’t foresee a certain amount of backlash to his cameo, when he’s already on the receiving end of a fair amount of hate, then he needs to get with the programme.

      It was always going to happen, and it should’ve been one of his considerations when deciding whether or not to accept the role.

      Anyway, he’s rich and famous. He got a cameo on one of his favourite shows because he’s rich and famous. I think he’ll survive a few mean comments on the internet.

      In all honesty, deleting Twitter is always a good thing. For everyone. Mainly because it’s become such a conduit for hate-mongering and rabble-rousing.

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    26. It’s easy to say that Ed or anyone else should suck it up, but it’s probably a completely different feeling when it’s you who’s the target of such hatred. Famous or not, no one wants to be bullied nor should anyone have to take it.

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    27. Mr Derp: Lord Parramandas,

      It already has!

      Yes, it already did. This thread made me think of some posts from non-GoT fans in LFU group who said the show will “die out” after it gets finished… but I personally believe it will leave legacy.

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    28. salacious crumb,

      also I think that was the week after the infamous white wedding (Sansa and Ramsey) i remember there were people who stated they were doing a one week boycott of GOT to protest it. That plus memorial day probably did it

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    29. Lord Parramandas: And since when were Elio and Linda a good representation of GoT fandom… well unless you are a certain GoT Wikia admin. They’ve been bashing the show for all the time basically, calling Red Wedding a bad scene and stuff. Linda even named herself “the mouth of GRRM”, like she speaks with author’s voice.

      You had me at “certain GoT Wikia admin”…

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