In the announcement of the seventh season, it was mentioned that the season finale of the sixth season hit a viewer record. I found this odd and checked with Wikipedia. It recorded 8.11 million viewers, which is larger than any earlier episode. In general, one can see that the series has gained more and more viewers as the series progresses.

This begs the question on how they are counting. This is a series where each episode is a natural continuation of the previous episode. To me this means that one would see the episodes in succession, starting at the first and then the second until one gets fed up with GoT. That would mean that more would have seen the earlier episodes than the later.

Or is that just me? Are other people starting to see GoT at the season finale? People that doesn't think it's worth seeing the episodes up to that.

AFAIK, HBO allows its subscribers to view all the episodes of GoT from the beginning - so people starting a subscription don't have to miss any episode, being able to watch it from the beginning if one wants to (without having to pay extra for it).

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    People can even use online options too like Netflix, amazon prime etc and then came back to HBO just for finale.
    – Ankit Sharma
    Commented Mar 10, 2017 at 9:49
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    @AnkitSharma This would be an explanation if HBO don't count those viewers.
    – skyking
    Commented Mar 10, 2017 at 9:53
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    This might be related to the fact that GoT is the most pirated series of all time. People can sometimes watch legally, sometimes illegally. Commented Mar 10, 2017 at 9:56
  • Viewership is rated on the first airing. People may have been less eager for the other episodes (that contain more exposition and less climax) and watched those in ways that do not count them as viewers.
    – Flater
    Commented Jul 19, 2017 at 15:58

1 Answer 1


The footnote associated with that number in the Wikipedia article links to "Sunday cable ratings: ‘Game of Thrones’ scores series high with Season 6 finale", which explains the meaning of those numbers:

The season finale of “Game of Thrones” recorded the best same-day ratings in the show’s history Sunday.

The HBO show drew a 4.3 rating among adults 18-49, topping its previous best of 4.0 set twice earlier in the season. Its 8.89 million viewers were also a series best for live + same-day, beating the 8.11 million for the Season 5 finale in 2015.

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    So basically, the season 6 finale was the episode with the highest number of people who had been following the show making the the effort to watch the episode as soon as it was released. Commented Mar 10, 2017 at 13:33

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