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Sky: 'Game of Thrones' Season Six TV Premiere Breaks Viewing Records

11 May, 2016 By: Erik Gruenwedel

British satellite TV operator Sky said the first episode of season six of HBO’s “Game of Thrones” was its most-watched entertainment program ever with almost five million viewers, including on-demand.

Since the episode’s April 25 broadcast, which included 3.8 million viewers, there have been around 1 million views via the Sky Go app and online streaming service Now TV, which features a Roku-manufactured streaming device.

The five million views smashed the previous record-holding episode: The season five finale of “Game of Thrones.” That episode delivered a cumulative audience of 3.27 million, and more than 400,000 views through Sky Go and Now TV. 

Complete viewership data for subsequent season six episodes in the U.K. are still being calculated, but the trend looks set to continue, according to Sky. Episodes two and three delivered overnight audiences of 2.18 million and 2.24 million, respectively.

Anticipation ahead of the season six premiere resulted in almost 10 million downloads in seven weeks as subscribers refreshed the first five seasons via “Sky Box Sets.”

Sky, which is controlled by 21st Century Fox, is Europe’s largest pay-TV operator with 21 million subscribers.

Separately, the season six premiere generated an audience of 1.1 million on Sky Atlantic in Italy, a 29% increase on the launch of season five. In Germany, the episode has been viewed by 379,000, a 74% increase on the previous season.

“Across Europe, the ‘Game of Thrones’ phenomenon continues to build. We’re so proud that … our customers have the flexibility to watch their favorite show in a way that suits them best. Three years ago we declared ‘Game of Thrones’ to be the best TV series of all time. And as these numbers demonstrate, the show just keeps getting better,” Gary Davey, managing director of content at Sky, said in a statement.

Indeed, “Thrones” continues to resonate at retail. Game of Thrones: The Complete Fifth Season has sold 644,766 combined DVD/Blu-ray Discs, generating $22.4 million, according to The-Numbers.com.

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