Ratings: Game of Thrones' Season 5 Premiere Sets Series High

Game of Thrones Ratings Record Season 5 Premiere

HBO’s Game of Thrones certainly isn’t dragon in the ratings: Sunday’s Season 5 premiere drew the fantasy drama’s largest audience to date, our sister site Variety reports.

According to a Nielsen estimate, about 8 million people tuned in to the series’ 9/8c broadcast. That number was up 17 percent (1.16 million viewers) from Season 4’s premiere and clocks in at roughly 800,000 more viewers than any other Thrones episode ever.

RELATED Game of Thrones Premiere Recap: Thinking Outside the Box 

The drama’s previous high came from the Season 4 episode “Mockingbird” — AKA the one where Littlefinger killed Lysa by pushing her out the moon door — which drew 7.195 million viewers.

Sunday’s premiere also averaged 5.3 million viewers (a 4.19 rating) in the 18-49 demo, a 14 percent increase from last year’s premiere, though this group is far less important to a premium cabler like HBO than it is to a broadcast network.

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  1. wrstlgirl says:

    Wonder if it helped that HBO was doing a free viewing weekend?

    • Hannah says:

      HBO almost always does a free viewing weekend for GoT premiere weekend. At least I know they did last year.

      • Chris says:

        I believe theyve done it every year the show has been on, they’ve always done that with there shows that why there usually three shows that premier that night to get a bigger samplin and get more people to subscribe so than can see the second episode

        • wrstlgirl says:

          Yep but doesn’t work in my case. I still wait until they do a marathon on finale’ weekend and subscribe so I can record the entire season at once and then cancel, costs me about $3.00. I do this for almost all of my pay for shows.

      • wrstlgirl says:

        Yes I know they do but that doesn’t matter in relation to my question :-)

    • Patrica says:

      I dont think its fair to do a free preview weekend and add those new eyeballs to the viewership. Its obviously not fair or accurate. Starz and showtime dont do that.

  2. ELL says:

    Do demo ratings really matter when it comes to HBO?

  3. Nick says:

    I would think that demo ratings are still somewhat important. They should know who is watching their network to make further programming decisions.

    • Chris says:

      I bet it matters on that sense but it doesn’t factor into renewals I would imagine like it does with network shows

    • KCC says:

      The demo rating is for advertising and HBO doesn’t have any. They should be more concerned with the age of the person paying the cable bill.

  4. Alex Mindev says:

    Since directTV is doing a promo (free HBO weekend or month not sure), that surely helped a lot with the numbers. Not seeing how their new streaming service factored into this…and I guess the leaked DVD screener copies of episodes 1-4 didn’t hurt at all.

  5. allen dean says:

    sadly, that first show was really dead. it has improved dramatically since the first one, but they lost a bunch of new viewers. I notice that they brought back the gorgeous old animation as well. Hard to believe they used a sterile, dead intro for the first show.

  6. James says:

    Season 4 > Season 5 so far