Game of Thrones final season premiere draws epic numbers

Game of Thrones
Photo: HBO

The world had to wait almost 20 months for a new episode of HBO’s Game of Thrones, however, it appears that did little to quell the appetite of viewers. In Australia, the first episode of the show’s final season broke several records for cable service, Foxtel.

In fact, Foxtel recorded a total viewership audience of approximately 1.29 million, including 962 000 who watched the broadcast (incl. subsequent replays via Showcase) and a further 333 000 individuals, who streamed the episode via Foxtel Go and Foxtel Now.

This represents an increase of approximately 17% over the show’s season 7 premiere.

Game of Thrones
Helen Sloan / HBO

Conventional viewing beats streaming (surprisingly)

Despite all the media noise surrounding the growth of streaming and flexible media consumption, the season 8 premiere proves that traditional television viewing is not dead yet. Most of the audience still viewed the episode via Foxtel’s linear broadcast through Showcase.

Having said this, over 300 000 people streamed the episode legally, which was a monstrous increase over some of the streaming numbers from season 7 (almost two years ago). To put it in perspective, roughly 41 000 tuned in to stream the season 7 finale, representing a rise of almost 300 000 in less than two years. It appears streaming is still welly and truly on the up.

End of an era

Beginning in 2011, Game of Thrones has since become a global sensation and a worldwide phenomenon. Whilst the show has been praised for its character development, unparalleled scope and narrative, it has often drawn criticism for its depiction of nudity and violence.

Despite such criticism, the show has only continued to grow in popularity and will likely end as one of the greatest television programs ever produced. With only five more episodes to go, the world waits to see who will sit upon the Iron Throne.

Game of Thrones final season premiere draws epic numbers
The cast of Game of Thrones in 2013. Photo: Gage Skidmore, Wikimedia Commons