The “Game of Thrones” season finale Sunday night smashed a series record for ratings, attracting 12.1 million viewers, according to Nielsen.
HBO said on Monday that when views on HBO Go and its stand-alone HBO Now app were included, the 79-minute episode had 16.5 million viewers.
Though “Game of Thrones” has been HBO’s most popular show ever for some time, its audience is getting only bigger. Sunday’s total viewership was up 36 percent over last year’s finale, which had 8.9 million viewers, and it was 19 percent better than the sixth-season premiere in July, which had 10.1 million viewers.
There’s also plenty of delayed viewing, apparently: HBO said that each episode of the current season is averaging more than 30 million viewers across platforms, which is nearly eight million more viewers than at the end of last season.
The record ratings provide a ray of sunlight for what has been an otherwise rocky summer for HBO, which has been dogged for weeks by a hack and by controversy surrounding the announcement of a new drama in development, “Confederate.”
The only other bad bit of news for HBO — and the show’s fans? The next and final season of “Game of Thrones,” which is to have six episodes, won’t have its premiere for some time — possibly in 2019. HBO is also developing potential “Thrones” prequels.
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