The anticipated season 7 premiere of HBO’s flagship series “Game of Thrones” set a number of new records for the network on Sunday night, including again setting the record for the most-watched premiere in HBO’s history for any series, the company reports. But the show achieved another milestone as well – due to the popularity of HBO’s streaming apps HBO GO and HBO NOW, the premiere also saw the highest ever number of concurrent viewers across HBO’s streaming services, too.
In total, the season 7 premiere reached a combined audience of 16.1 million viewers across its linear TV airing, same day DVR playback, and streaming via HBO GO and HBO NOW. That’s a 50 percent increase over the season 6 premiere last year, HBO says.
These increases could put “Game of Thrones” season 7 on track to bust season 6’s earlier records. Last season’s episodes ending up averaging a gross audience of 25.7 million viewers apiece. Season 7 has already started off ahead in terms of linear TV viewers, total viewers, and concurrent streaming viewers, which is a promising start for the new season.
This massive influx of viewers to HBO’s online services led to some glitches across HBO’s platform, where it operates the HBO GO streaming service for pay TV viewers, and HBO NOW, a $15 per month option for cord cutters.
Still, a number of viewers noted that the HBO.com website went down during the first half of the season 7 East Coast premiere, and only recovered during the final portion. Many of the issues streaming users experienced with the HBO platform weren’t due to the platform itself buckling under the load but were instead problems with local distributors’ ability to authorize subscriber accounts due to the overwhelming number of requests. The network adds that those issues subsided quickly and service resumed as normal.