Game of Thrones’ Season 6 finale had revenge, hollowed monarchies, a lot of death, parentage revelations and new alliances packing its nearly 70-minute run on June 26. The David Benioff and D.B. Weiss written “The Winds of Winter” episode also had 8.89 million viewers – an all-time high for the HBO series.
With this season having sped ahead of the George R.R. Martin books on which the blockbuster series has been based, Sunday’s finale was up 16% over the war heavy “Battle of the Bastards” episode of June 19. The Miguel Sapochnik directed Season 6 ender was also up 10% from the David Nutter helmed Season 5 ‘Mother’s Mercy” finale of June 14, 2015. Previously holding the title of most watched GoT episode ever, the S5 finale went up against the very well watched Game 5 of last year’s NBA Finals. The re-match between the victorious Cleveland Cavaliers and the 2015 winning Golden State Warriors was not competition this year – as that series ended on June 19 with 30.8 million watching Lebron bring the first b-ball trophy home to Ohio. However, the GoT S6 finale did face a rising BET Awards this year – which was simulcast on 12 Viacom nets.
Among the 18-49 demo, the S6 finale scored a 4.4 rating – also a GoT best ever result and beat the 4.0 that the show had pulled twice earlier this season. That demo rating on the ad-free premium cabler puts GoT up high in the scripted world, only behind the likes of AMC’s The Walking Dead and Fox’s Empire among the 18-49 this season.
Overall, GoT viewership across all platforms is up 15% over last year for HBO to hit 23.3 million this season before this weekend’s finale.