Even more viewers than Week 1 tuned in for the second episode of HBO’s “House of the Dragon” Sunday night, proving the premium cabler has a certified hit on its hands.
More than 10.2 million viewers tuned in, representing a 2% uptick over the week before in domestic Sunday night viewing across linear telecasts and HBO Max, based on a combination of Nielsen and first party data. Growing an audience week-over-week is tough to do in television these days; even the second episode of “Game of Thrones'” final season in 2019 dropped nearly 13% in Sunday night viewership from the first episode.
HBO previously announced that Sunday night viewing typically represents just 20%-40% of a show’s total gross audience. As a result, viewership totals tend to keep climbing when accounting for delayed viewings across multiple platforms. For example, the “House of the Dragon” premiere is now approaching 25 million viewers in the U.S. after one week of availability.
The Targaryen-centric prequel spinoff is also providing a halo effect on “Game of Thrones” viewership as the original series produced another weekly high on HBO Max last week, up 30% and marking eight consecutive weeks of growth, per HBO. “Game of Thrones” was the second most popular title on HBO Max last week, behind only “House of the Dragon.”
The final season of “Game of Thrones” average 11.9 million live linear weekly viewers and upwards of 40 million per episode when accounting for multi-platform delayed viewership. No one expects “House of the Dragon” to post similar numbers, but it must be encouraging for HBO executives to see the expensive fantasy series off to an impressive start. It’s no wonder the network has already renewed the series for a second season.