"Game of Thrones" is a show that has a ratings impact for HBO that goes far beyond the initial numbers. You have so many different factors to consider here, whether you consider repeat viewing, DVR numbers, people watching on-demand, and of course the HBO GO app. Last season the network averaged that well over 10 million people a week were checking out the series in all of the avenues offered by the network.
By the time that the final numbers are released by HBO on season 4, early evidence suggests that the numbers will be even higher. After all, there is a great deal of evidence of this courtesy of the numbers for Sunday night's new episode entitled "Breaker of Chains." Overall, 6.6 million viewers tuned in per an official press release to watch the follow-up to the shocking "Purple Wedding" episode "The Lion and the Rose," and this tied the previous record set by the premiere.
What is the biggest surprise when it comes to this rating? Think along the lines of it being Easter Sunday. Traditionally, this is not the strongest night for programming, and on broadcast television, "Once Upon a Time" was the lowest-rated program despite it setting a series low with a 1.7 rating in the 18-49 demographic. (Given that HBO is subscriber-based, the network is not anywhere near as reliant on demo numbers as broadcast or cable networks.) To see "Game of Thrones" rise despite the holiday and competition is an achievement.
There was never a reason to question the show's future, given that seasons 5 and 6 have already been ordered by HBO; nonetheless, these numbers further show that "Game of Thrones" is not losing steam as far as it viewers are concerned. It is only continuing to rise to the occasion.
The next new episode of "Game of Thrones," entitled "Oathkeeper," will air on HBO Sunday night at 9:00 p.m. Eastern time. It will mark the fourth installment in the season, and gives the show opportunities still to break its own record.