‘Game of Thrones’ Season 6 Finale Ratings Hit Series High

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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  1. MajorBarbara says:

    Goes to show how the TV landscape has changed that the original Star Trek got cancelled with more viewership (even counting multiplatform views). One wonders what GoT would do in a TV landscape with only three major channels, not including public TV, and a handful of local second-tier stations.

  2. piperactive says:

    Even though advertising doesn’t drive programming on HBO and episodes cost $10m each to produce, with viewership numbers like this it would be bad business to disrespect customers by short changing them with rushed and subpar product when finishing off the GoT series.

    Ten episodes a season is barely a season as it is and plans to shorten seasons to less than that is pretty cruel. What would be better would be to LENGTHEN the seventh season if HBO only plans to shoot around 15 more hours of the series. That would be a gift to the viewers and for how many of them watch and how much money that makes HBO, I think that would be the wisest choice.

    • DRJ says:

      They struggle to get the ten episodes finished every year as it is. Considering the amount of CGI and VFX work that is likely needed for the final season I think time is going to become an even bigger hurdle. Would you rather wait two years to finish the show and see all 15 episodes at once, or would you rather we get half next year and half the year after that. I have no doubt HBO wants to keep their golden egg running as long as possible, but I do think the VFX work is a major driving factor in drawing out the last season.

  3. Theodore says:

    Seriously, HBO and slowly greying producers. You’re misguided if you intend to rush through seasons 7 and 8. S6 was borderline hectic. Please take the needed time. Tolkien did. The Bible did. Hey, it works.

    • lucy says:

      I understand the two guys in charge want to do other things, but I hope they don’t let impatience ruin a TV masterpiece. While I enjoyed season 6 , the zipping around of characters was distracting and several storylines felt cut short or lacked satisfying development before they were done or the characters involved dead.

      Knowing that Jon is definitely a Targaryan and seeing Dany finally crossing the narrow sea is very exciting but when I hear 13 episodes, I get a sinking feeling we’re going to get short-changed. When I hear the writers/producers say “succinct”, I feel we are definitely going to get shortchanged. Surely, there is a middle ground between unsatisfactory succinct and dragging things out like, two more FULL seasons.

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