Game of Thrones Season 7 gets off to record-breaking start
James R | On 31, Jul 2017
Game of Thrones Season 7 has got off to a record-breaking start in the UK. HBO’s fantasy epic was snapped up by Sky Atlantic many years ago, but where that once might have led to viewers without a pay TV contract considering illegal methods to see the series, both Sky and HBO have made the show more accessible than ever, with their respective contract-free services, NOW and HBO Now.
As a result, the first episode of the seventh season has continued its unprecedented run by recording the biggest consolidated audience for a programme ever on Sky with 4.7 million viewers, across all platforms, including NOW, customers who recorded the episode and watched it back, and those watched live at 2am or the repeat at 9pm. Dragonstone almost doubled its audience in the week after it launched, adding an additional 1.85 million to the original 2.8 million who watched it on Monday 17th July. This also meant the episode secured the fifth biggest programme audience of the year in Sky homes, outperforming Sherlock, Call the Midwife and Line of Duty.
A further 729,000 downloads and streams of the episode were made via the Sky Go app, with this expected to increase further over the coming weeks. Sky Atlantic has seen a huge increase in Game of Thrones audiences year on year with a 31 per cent increase on the opening episode of Season 6 last year (3.56m consolidated).
Gary Davey, managing director content, Sky comments: “The Game of Thrones phenomenon is incredible. It just gets bigger and better every year which is reflected in the huge number of people tuning in. Once again viewers have taken advantage of being able to enjoy the show in the way that suits them, whether that’s staying up till 2am to watch it live or catching up in their own time. For me, it has to be first thing in the morning before work – I’m too impatient to wait to the end of the day to find out what’s happened.”
Excitement and enthusiasm for the series continues with 2.15 million viewers tuning in for the second episode. Customers have also have also taken advantage of the whole back catalogue being made available to catch up on since the beginning of May with over 16 million downloads made via Sky Box Sets, a further 11.3m via NOW and 5.5m downloads and streams via the Sky Go app.