"Game Of Thrones" Topples "The Sopranos" As HBO's Most Watched Show

In the game of thrones you win or you die. Well, HBO’s newest hit series is winning everything these days. Game of Thrones has been crowned HBO’s most popular show ever, topping even the once untouchable Sopranos. According to Entertainment Weekly, Thrones has an average gross audience of 18.4 million viewers across all platforms. In comparison, The Sopranos, which aired its final season in 2006, that is before the Netflix-driven TV apocalypse, averaged $18.2 million in its peak season.

Game of Thrones Still
Game of Thrones is HBO's biggest hit to date.

The last season of Thrones attracted an average gross audience of 14.4 million viewers per episode. The news comes just afterThrones set several recent ratings records for its own performance this season. HBO’s analysts have been waiting to confirm the news, until there was enough data from the current season.

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According to analysts, the actual number of viewers might be higher than recorded.

Their main point is that it’s not just the numbers that are different, it’s that eight years after The Sopranos, viewers are consuming media in entirely different ways. The rise of DVR playback helps boost Thrones‘ viewership, and HBO now offers streaming of its shows via HBO Go — methods of monitoring and counting the audience that were unavailable during the peak of The Sopranos’ reign. On the other hand, the rise of online piracy has meant that the stats are missing a key segment of GoT’s viewership – the fans, who download the show illegally. And since the Song of Ice and Fire adaptation typically ranks as the most pirated show on air, it’s likely that the viewing figures are even higher. If you’re watching live, the next Game of Thrones episode airs Sunday, June 8. You can read our recap of The Watchers of the Wall on Monday.


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Tags: Peter Dinklage - Emilia Clarke - Lena Headey

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