The season four premiere episode of HBO's Game of Thrones scored the premium cable channel's highest ratings for a telecast since the series finale of The Sopranos. It also crashed the streaming service HBO Go in the process.
It looks like everyone wanted to see how the citizens of Westeros were doing over the last year. Sunday night marked the return of the hit show and everyone anticipated that it would be a must see TV event. Unfortunately, that meant for those trying to stream it, we would get the sequel to the True Detective debacle that unfolded a little over a month ago.
First, Game of Thrones now holds the tightly to the title of “most watched show” on any of the premium cable networks currently. When the final numbers were tallied, about 6.6 million people watched the premiere episode to catch up with the Lannisters, Starks and the rest of the crazy kids in Westeros. Including the two replays that followed the episode, the number jumps to 8.2 million viewers. That made this the most watched HBO show since the finale of The Sopranos drew 11.9 million in 2007. And for those keeping track, it obviously is an increase over the season three premiere, which came in with 4.4 million viewers last year. Also, the infamous Red Wedding episode clocked in at 5.4 million viewers having their hearts ripped out of them that night.
Of course, that number does not include the HBO Go numbers but they might not be as high as you thought. That is probably because Game of Thrones pulled a True Detective and crashed the streaming service. On the night of the premiere, HBO Go crashed due to the immense demand on the servers and frustrated hoards of viewers trying to watch the show. Those that tried were greeted with a fatal error after trying to access the service and led to several complaints via social networking. Interestingly, it also led an attack against those that shared their HBO Go logins and passwords to non-subscribers, saying that they were at fault for creating the bottleneck for access and that they had no right to it.
Regardless, the hope is that for the second episode, all the HBO Go issues shall be resolved and that HBO will at least try to meet the demand for the show. Of course, the same could be said after the True Detective finale, knowing that Game of Thrones surely would test the limits for the streaming service. In the wake of all this, and in a surprise to no one, HBO has renewed GoT for two more seasons, extending it to 6 seasons. Recent rumors would suggest that there will be a seventh season added eventually, and then perhaps a movie to wrap things up.
Were you affected by the HBO Go outage? Do you have contingency plans for the next episode? Do you like the prospect of a movie to end it all? Let us know your outage story or thoughts by commenting below or on our Facebook page!
Images: HBO, Imgur