Winter is here, and it's frozen the competition. Game of Thrones debuted Season 7 with nothing short of spectacular ratings, beating its own series high in live viewers and winning HBO's overall top spot for a premiere when including the equally excellent digital views.
We're talking about a massive 10.1 million live viewers of the premiere episode, which greatly pushed forward the storyline, bringing more characters together and finally delivering on the six-season promise of Daenerys Targaryen. That's up 1.2 million viewers from the previous record owned by the season finale of Season 6. It's also 27% up from the Season 6 debut.
Perhaps even more impressive are the same-day DVR and streaming numbers, where HBO Go and HBO Now users turned up in droves -- crashing the HBO site and digital servers for about the first half hour that the show was up. Six million fans tuned in on digital platforms in addition to the live viewing. The encore presentation, which aired directly after the first showing of the episode, was not factored into the numbers.
That's a heck of a start for Game of Thrones' penultimate season, which started about two months later than the previous seasons did and will run a couple episodes shorter than previous years (though several of the individual episodes are significantly longer than usual). Next up is a Friday Hall H panel at San Diego Comic-Con, and the second episode Sunday night.