Jon Snow and Dany in episode one of season 8 of Game Of Thrones. Picture: HBO/Foxtel
Jon Snow and Dany in episode one of season 8 of Game Of Thrones. Picture: HBO/Foxtel

GoT smashes ‘never before seen’ ratings

The first episode of Game of Thrones' final season has blitzed ratings for Foxtel, with more than one million people in Australia tuning in.

Preliminary findings reveal the first episode reached an overnight linear audience across all airings of 962,000 viewers, an increase of 17 per cent on the season seven premiere in 2017.

Foxtel anticipates those numbers to grow significantly once the consolidated data becomes available.

The first episode also delivered an additional total premiere day audience of 333,000, who streamed it live or On Demand across Foxtel Now and Foxtel GO - the biggest daily VPM audience for 2019.

The ratings data dropped today as Round Two of the GoT Challenge opened - with a host of new trivia questions, a fresh field of characters to pick and a $10,000 replica Iron Throne for the ultimate winner - ahead of next week's episode.

Foxtel is the only TV broadcaster that owns the rights to screen HBO's fantasy epic.

"The Wall may have fallen but last night's ratings have rocketed Game of Thrones higher than ever as Australia joined the rest of the world in watching this global television event in numbers never before seen on Foxtel," said Brian Walsh, Foxtel's Executive Director of Television.

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Dragons in episode one of season 8 of Game Of Thrones. Picture: HBO/Foxtel
Dragons in episode one of season 8 of Game Of Thrones. Picture: HBO/Foxtel

"Yesterday's viewership is a testament to the hunger that fans have had over the past two years for the return of the unrivalled action, drama and intrigue that only Game of Thrones can deliver and we are thrilled with the result.

"Frankly, there is no other show like it. It is the television series of a generation."

Mr Walsh added On Demand streaming of all past seven seasons of Game of Thrones was higher than ever as fans binged in anticipation of the season premiere.

Last season's debut drew in 820,000 viewers, which was the highest ratings ever for a series in the history of subscription television in Australia and an increase of 13 per cent on season six's launch in 2016.

The premiere was also a major success for those watching on the HBO channel, which is available to stream overseas, bringing in a record 17.4 million viewers.

These figures combined would not even come close to how many people were tuning in, given all the various methods of distribution, and not even HBO can calculate exactly how many people are watching globally.

Jon Snow and Arya Stark’s reunion was a fan favourite moment. Picture: Helen Sloan/HBO via AP
Jon Snow and Arya Stark’s reunion was a fan favourite moment. Picture: Helen Sloan/HBO via AP

It was also the most tweeted about episode of GoT ever, with more than five million tweets.

Bran Stark was the highest trending character, largely due to his cliffhanger face-off with Jaime Lannister.

Bran was closely followed by Jon Snow, Daenerys Targaryen, Sansa Stark and Cersei Lannister among the most popular trends.

Game of Thrones airs every Monday express from the US on Fox Showcase at 11am and again at 8.30pm


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