Game of Thrones series eight premiere breaks Sky ratings record

192,000 fans watched it live at 2am...

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Game of Thrones smashed Sky records in the UK on its return to television for its eighth and final season.

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The show, lauded as the world’s most popular by Time Magazine, and, well, everyone, returned after a 20-month hiatus to ring in its final six episodes on Monday 15th April, airing a live 2am simulcast on Sky Atlantic at the same time as its HBO broadcast in the US, and a more sociable repeat at 9pm that same evening. It was available to stream via on demand services such as Sky Box Sets and NOW TV from the wee hours of the morning, too.

In total, 3.39 million viewers watched the new episode over the course of the day, up 20% on the first episode of season seven (which pulled in an overnight audience of 2.83 million) and a new record for Sky; the Game of Thrones series seven finale held the previous title with 3.03 million overnight viewers.

The US broadcast broke records for HBO, too, with 17.4m in total digesting the season opener overnight.


Here’s a breakdown of the numbers:

192,000 super-fans stayed up to watch episode one of Game of Thrones season eight at 2am on Sky Atlantic

2.69 million Sky users chose to hit play on episode one before its 9pm airing, either via on demand services or a recording form the 2am broadcast

689,000 watched the episode on Sky Atlantic at 9pm

3.39 million in total watched episode one across Sky platforms on Monday 15th April

A record-breaking 17.4 million viewers tuned into episode one on HBO in America


The total viewership is expected to rise further over the next few days as users tune in on demand, meaning it will likely break the cumulative audience for the season seven finale of 4.97m. And there’s still five more MASSIVE episodes to go…

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Game of Thrones continues on Sky Atlantic  on Monday at 2am, followed by a repeat at 9pm