Another year, and another ratings record for Game of Thrones on HBO. This time around, season 7’s premiere dominated.
The show’s big episode last night generated in total 10.1 million viewers, and that number ballooned outward to 16 million when you factored in all sorts of streaming data and replay viewership. This is a CRAZY number for any scripted show, especially one that is airing on a premium cable network. Basically, what makes this so impressive is that there are this many people willing to actually pay to watch a network — in this era where piracy is so rampant, that is almost unheard of.
So why are the ratings for this show this strong? We really do think that there are a handful of different reasons for the dominance.
1. Keeping things limited – If you look at other successful shows, what you end up often seeing with them is a gross over-saturation of their market. They come on the air, push a ton of episodes in a limited period of time, and with that, viewers often lose interest just because they struggle trying to keep up. One of the reasons why Game of Thrones doesn’t have to worry about that is because they’ve never done more than ten episodes a year. With doing only seven episodes this summer, that may be true many times over moving into the final season.
2. Overall quality – Basically, the show is awesome, and when you do have an awesome show, the odds are all the higher that there are going to be more people interested in watching. This is something that Game of Thrones doesn’t have to worry about.
3. You’re building towards something – We’ve long said that the best thing The Walking Dead could do at the moment is set an end date, given that with knowledge of where the story is going will eventually come a willingness for viewers to stick around. The majority of Game of Thrones fans out there know that there are only two more seasons to go, and with that, there’s no reason for them to bail at this point. It’s so much easier to commit to a show when you know there’s a plan in mind.
Are you surprised that the Game of Thrones live viewership actually managed to go above ten million for the premiere? Be sure to share in the comments!
Meanwhile, head over to the link here to get some other news when it comes to the show, including a review for the first episode. (Photo: HBO.)