The epic saga of Game of Thrones will come to an end after only two more episodes, and a lot of people will have to find something new to do on their Sunday nights. To the shock of absolutely nobody who was tuned in to the Game of Thrones fandom during the extra long hiatus between Season 7 and Season 8, the ratings for Season 8 have been pretty great. As it turns out, the numbers just get even more impressive when DVR viewership can be tallied.
For the first three episodes of Season 8, Game of Thrones is averaging a boost of 27% in the key 18-49 age demographic, from Live+Same day calculations to Live+7 day calculations. TV By The Numbers reports that the average Live+7 rating for Season 8 so far is a mighty 6.2, which is an average boost of 1.3 from the Live+Same day average of 4.9.
Basically, Game of Thrones becomes even more dominant over the competition in the week following a live broadcast. Even leaks of the first two episodes didn't result in tanked ratings, which makes it likely that the leaks ahead of the fourth episode won't have taken a big bite out of those Live+7 numbers when they become available.
The Season 8 episode that scored the highest ratings in Live+Same and Live+7 was "The Long Night," a.k.a. the episode that featured the long-awaited Battle of Winterfell. Airing on April 28, "The Long Night" was basically the finale of the supernatural half of the series, unless Game of Thrones adds a twist in the final two episodes that the White Walker threat isn't actually done.
So, it makes sense that the much-hyped (and darkly-lit) episode was the biggest winner of the first half of the season. Live+7 numbers give "The Long Night" a rating of 6.8 in the 18-49 demo. Interestingly, though, "The Long Night" was not the episode with the largest increase from Live+Same day to Live+7. That honor goes to the second episode of Season 8, which got a boost of 30%, compared to the 28% of "The Long Night" and the 24% of the season premiere.
Unsurprisingly, Game of Thrones is on top of the Sunday night competition, although percentage-wise, Thrones actually experiences a relatively small boost from Live+Same to Live+7. The average boost of 1.3 is the largest on television, but the average boost of 27% barely places it in the top 25. Considering the high stakes of Game of Thrones Season 8, I'd say that it's the closest thing to appointment television for the masses nowadays.
If you don't watch live or sooner rather than later, you might well get spoiled. After all, episode chatter isn't going to be all about innocuous moments like the appearance of the anachronistic coffee cup!
It's too soon for Live+7 day numbers for the fourth episode, which saw the action finally move south again after the long battle to take down the Night King in the North. It was a costly episode of Team Daenerys, and a lot of people are probably going to die sooner rather than later. Be sure to tune in to HBO on Sunday, May 12 to catch the second-to-last episode of Game of Thrones.