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June 27, 2016
With nominations for more than 500 industry awards, including Emmys, Golden Globes and Screen Actors Guild Awards, and almost 200 wins to its name, Game of Thrones‘ trophy shelf is already packed to bursting point.
But the hit HBO series can add another feather to its cap: the season six finale set a record in Australia as the most watched program in subscription TV history.
Bumper ratings … The season six finale of Game of Thrones drew a record audience for Foxtel with 737,000 viewers, and 8.9 million viewers in the US.
The final episode, which aired on Foxtel’s Showcase channel, drew a national audience of 737,000 people.
That figure narrowly beat the season six premiere on Foxtel by just 10,000 people, which held the previous record as the most watched subscription TV broadcast.
Foxtel reports the show’s sixth season drew a cumulative average audience of 1.2 million viewers per episode, which is a lift of almost 50 per cent on the preceding fifth season.
Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) talks about being single again with Tyrion Lannister. Photo: HBO/Foxtel
Those numbers are not immediately comparable to free-to-air broadcasts in Australia, as the commercial television sector uses a slightly different standard of reporting its audiences.
Foxtel defines its cumulative audience as those who watched the first and repeat broadcasts in the first seven days, and also includes time-shifted recorded playback, and viewers who use the Foxtel Anytime service.
In the United States, the final episode drew 8.9 million viewers, inclusive of live and same day audiences on the HBO channel.
A record audience got to see Cersei’s revenge in the final episode of Game of Thrones for 2016. Photo: HBO
That was a lift of the previous season finale, which had drawn 8.1 million viewers.
The trade newspaper Variety reported that Game of Thrones has lifted its US audience every year since its premiere, from an average of three million, increasing between one and 1.5 million viewers every year.
A HBO spokesperson said the series had reached 23.3 million “multi-platform views”, which includes video-on-demand services and the HBO Go and HBO Now streaming services.
Ratings data is compiled by the audience measurement agency OzTAM and was released to media by Foxtel.