‘House of the Dragon’ Just Missed Cutoff for Nielsen’s Weekly Streaming Ratings in Its Debut Week — but Early Numbers Look Huge

As a Sunday night series, the first episode of “House of the Dragon” was only available for streaming during the final few hours Nielsen’s window for calculating its weekly SVOD ratings for Aug. 15-21. But in that brief period of time, the “Game of Thrones” prequel managed to be watched for 327 million minutes via HBO Max, according to the ratings currency company’s new rankings.

“House of the Dragon” premiered Sunday, Aug. 21 at 9 p.m. ET on HBO and was immediately available for streaming on HBO Max at that time. The above Nielsen-provided figure only counts streaming viewership, meaning any viewership from someone who watched Episode 1 of “House of the Dragon” via HBO’s linear channel, or any other platform, is not included in the count.

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Per Nielsen’s streaming report for the week of Aug. 15-21, which was released Thursday, “As you might notice, the premiere episode of ‘House of the Dragon’ on HBO Max did not make the Top 10 lists this week. Nielsen measurement is based on a ‘Monday through Sunday’ week, which means the HBO release schedule for ‘House Of The Dragon’ only provides a 3-hour window (Eastern Time) to accumulate viewing minutes during this initial week. As an addendum to this week’s list, we wanted to share that Episode 1 of ‘House Of The Dragon’ received 327 million viewing minutes. We expect it to settle in as a regular over the coming weeks.”

(Translation: Because Nielsen publishes its streaming data several weeks after the seven-day period its counting, look for “House of the Dragon” to debut on Nielsen’s Top 10 streaming rankings next week, which will reveal the streaming numbers Aug. 22-28.)

For reference, Nielsen says “Game of Thrones,” which has all eight season and 73 episodes available for streaming on HBO Max, was watched for 559 million minutes from Aug. 15-Aug. 21.

According to HBO’s own tally, which counts viewers rather than minutes, the “House of the Dragon” series premiere was viewed by nearly 10 million people across its debut night. Unlike Nielsen’s streaming ratings, that stat counts all available platforms.

HBO revealed this week that Episode 1 has now crossed the 30 million-viewers mark, and previously announced that initial viewership for Episode 2 rose by 2% compared with the premiere.

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