Season seven of “Game of Thrones” premiered July 16, and has tallied up a total of 26 million viewers — making it HBO’s most watched season premiere ever.
Time Warner released its quarterly earnings report Wednesday morning, and shared the good news:
” Through the first two weeks, the premiere of the seventh season of ‘Game of Thrones’ has totaled 26 million viewers across all platforms, and is the most-watched season premiere episode of any HBO original series ever.”
Time Warner also said that opening night viewership for the season premieres of “Ballers” and “Insecure” had gone up by 41% and 45%, respectively, year-over-year.
Although “Game of Thrones” has historically done well when it comes to season premiere ratings, the latest numbers show how much its audience has grown over the years.
Here’s a chart that shows the progression of each season premiere, based on live viewers tracked by Nielsen:
The live audience ratings, however, don’t account for the number of DVR and streaming views from HBO’s streaming platforms, HBO GO and HBO Now.Streaming numbers for “Game of Thrones” don’t really begin to appear in the reported Nielsen numbers until the “Game of Thrones” season five premiere in 2015, which was the same year that HBO launched its streaming service, HBO Now.
With the addition of the streaming and DVR views recorded by Nielsen for “Game of Thrones” (seasons five through seven), the numbers go up. Season five’s season premiere numbers bump up to 9.8 million viewers, season six’s numbers to 10.7 million viewers, and season seven’s to a massive 26 million viewers.
So while the “Game of Thrones” season seven premiere was a record-breaking milestone for HBO, it also showed how many viewers are now turning to streaming platforms, and DVR, rather than watching on the traditional linear channel.