The initial ratings are in for episode 3 of House of the Dragon!
Deadline reports that “Second of His Name” has “exceeded 16 million viewers based on a combination of Nielsen and first party data,” and that episode 3 viewings were “up 27 percent on HBO Max compared to episode 2 on the prior Monday.”
What does that mean? Deadline breaks it down for us. “First party means data that HBO measures directly from HBO Max. Premiere night viewing included HBO Max and linear viewing. Longer term measurement will include HBO Max, additional linear plays, DVR, and On Demand viewing.” That’s why the numbers keep increasing throughout the week, because the first figures we get simply aren’t true to reality, when we have so many streaming platforms.
Variety looks at the ratings from another point-of-view, noting that looking just at the linear ratings, there’s a notable drop this week- a 28.6% decrease. They report that the episode was watched by “2.5 million people across its four cable airings on HBO on Sunday, per Nielsen.” This perspective offers a narrower scope, only going off Nielsen numbers. And I suspect that with Labor Day this week, and a lot of people traveling, many will be watching this episode later than usual, something that will reflect in the final numbers at the end of the week.
So what does it really mean? Hard to say right now. The holiday weekend throws the numbers off for sure this week; even Oz didn’t watch the episode on time. There’s likely to be some ebb and flow in the ratings as people figure out if they want to stick with HOTD, and new fans will trickle in as well, like they did with the original series, when word of mouth got out. We won’t know what the trend is really going to be for a few more episodes.