Did you really think that Game of Thrones season 7 episode 2 was going to continue the same super-incredible pace set by the premiere? It was obviously a nice thing to think about, but also a little bit of a pipe dream. Premieres always perform better than episodes in the middle of the season, especially in this instance given that it’d been more than a year since the show was last on the air. These sort of things do have a tremendous impact on a show and its performance, given that distance makes the heart grow fonder. (Look at how much the final seasons of Breaking Bad surged after a long break.)
Sunday’s episode ended up drawing in total 9.27 million viewers, which is still enough to make it the second-most-watched episode of the show ever in terms of live+same-day viewing. This is down almost a million from the premiere, but still incredible — especially when you consider that this number will likely double once you include all of the extra streams and delayed viewings. This show has an incredibly loyal viewership, and there are so many ways that HBO has created for viewers to watch the show. Not every fan is able to do so live, but they’ll catch up on it during the week.
As for the 18-49 demographic, we know that it doesn’t matter for anything given that HBO is subscriber-based. They don’t really care at all how old some of the people are who are watching their show, mostly because they just want people to buy and subscribe. They don’t have advertisers. Nonetheless, we know that there are still people out there interested for the sake of cross-comparisons, and for them we’ll tell you that the show generated a 4.3 rating. That is far and away better than any other program on the air this summer in terms of regularly-scheduled scripted or unscripted programming. The majority of the Game of Thrones following is young, and this further proves it. This rating even beats out of water This Is Us from this past season, and that was considered to be the huge runaway hit of the network television schedule. Other than The Walking Dead, nothing is really a competitor in the demo these days. The Big Bang Theory has even slipped.
We do anticipate from here that Game of Thrones sill go below 9 million viewers for the next two episodes, but as we near the finale, it will go back up again. We wouldn’t be surprised to see the finale get close to hitting the 11 million viewer threshold, and for the final season, we’re expecting at this point almost around 12 million — especially since there’s going to be another long hiatus presumably.
The beautiful thing about these final seasons is that it’s an easier investment for viewers to go along with the show being great entertainment. You only have to subscribe to HBO for two months (that’s around $30), and you can get all of the episodes without a problem. With the longer, ten-episode seasons, you were looking at a three-month commitment.
We’ve got a whole lot more to say beyond the ratings
Check out our official Game of Thrones archive to see our full review of this past episode, plus previews and further analysis of what’s coming next. (Photo: HBO.)