game of thrones ratings season 6
Courtesy of HBO

No matter who’s on the Iron Throne, “Game of Thrones” continues to rule in ratings; HBO’s drama hit a series high for its Season 6 finale in live plus same day viewership, drawing 8.9 million viewers in a pivotal episode that killed off several major characters and shook up the show’s political landscape forever.

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Last year’s Season 5 finale set a previous record of 8.1 million viewers, and the show has been increasing year over year since it debuted. For comparison, the Season 1 finale averaged 3.0 million viewers in live plus same day measurements, with the Season 2 finale notching 4.2 million. Season 3’s finale averaged 5.4 million viewers, with the Season 4 finale jumping to 7.1 million, per Nielsen’s measurements. The show is expected to get another boost once live plus seven viewership is counted.

“Game of Thrones” has averaged 23.3 million multiplatform views overall this season, with fans devouring the show across VOD, streaming site HBO Go, standalone subscription service HBO Now and multiple telecasts and encores. Since premium cable channel HBO doesn’t include ads, it doesn’t place the same importance on demographic breakdowns as broadcast and basic cable networks, but the finale also drew a 4.4 rating in adults 18-49, beating all scripted competition on cable and broadcast aside from ratings juggernauts “The Walking Dead” and “Empire.”

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