Starz’s “Outlander” premiere has drawn almost 1 million views since it debuted in a free multiplatform preview on Aug. 2, a week before its official air date on Aug. 9.
The premium cabler made the first episode of its hotly anticipated adaptation available online through starz.com, YouTube, the Starz Play app, Starz On Demand and via various cable, satellite and telco affiliates in the U.S. Starz offered similar previews of other recent dramas, “Power” and “Black Sails,” ahead of their linear airings.
According to preliminary data drawn from Starz On Demand, Starz Play, starz.com, YouTube, and Xfinity, the premiere has been watched approximately 900,000 times by more than 600,000 unique viewers, not counting On Demand orders from the cabler’s affiliates — including Time Warner, which launched a dedicated “Outlander” Enjoy Better campaign featuring the show’s stars.
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“We’ve heard from fans the world over who are anxiously awaiting to see how we’ve brought Claire and Jamie to life in what may possibly be the most highly anticipated series in Starz history,” Starz CEO Chris Albrecht said of their sampling rollout. “Our ‘Outlander’ sampling strategy serves the dual purpose of giving early access to the series premiere for those fans thirsting to watch it as soon as possible, as well as providing a vehicle that introduces the Starz experience to prospective new subscribers who are eager to learn all about this great new series.”
While Starz added 100,000 subscribers in the second quarter, it remains to be seen whether “Outlander” can prove compelling enough to draw new eyeballs to the pay cabler following its premiere. Starz is betting big on the lavish adaptation of Diana Gabaldon’s bestselling novel, hoping to capitalize on the “lack of female-skewing programs in the premium space,” according to Albrecht.
“Outlander” is produced by Tall Ship Productions, Story Mining & Supply Company and Left Bank Pictures in association with Sony Pictures Television. “Battlestar Galactica” helmer Ron Moore executive produces the series.
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Watch the “Outlander” series premiere below.