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‘Squid Game: The Challenge’ Premiere Draws Impressive U.S. Viewership For Netflix, Samba TV Reports

EXCLUSIVE: Squid Game: The Challenge has piqued the interest of quite a few spectators.

The spinoff of the popular Netflix show, which allowed contestants to immerse themselves in the world of the Korean hit, debuted on November 22. In its first five days of availability, the premiere episode drew an audience of about 1.1M U.S. households, according to Samba TV.

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The tech company reports that viewership was fairly diverse, as Black households over-indexed by 20% and Hispanic households over-indexed by 16%.

Compared to some other Netflix reality series, this indicates Squid Game: The Challenge might be a winner for Netflix, despite the legal challenges the streamer is now facing. According to Samba TV, The Circle Season 5 premiere managed just 264,000 U.S. households in the same five-day window, while Physical: 100 amassed about 396,000.

This doesn’t tell the whole viewing story, though it does give a pretty good picture of the series’ performance so far. Samba TV doesn’t measure mobile, however, their sample includes a panel of 3 million terrestrial TVs, weighted to the U.S. Census. By contrast, Samba TV’s panel is nearly 100x larger than Nielsen’s household footprint of 45K homes.

“Modeled after the hugely popular South Korean hit Squid Game, new spinoff reality series Squid Game: The Challenge saw massive viewership in its first few days released on Netflix. The series’ broad, worldwide audience likely helped contribute to its success. Diverse viewers also helped propel the series to reach 1.1 million households viewing in its first five days, with Black and Hispanic households over-indexing by strong double digits compared to the average U.S. household,” Cole Strain, VP and Head of Research and Development at Samba TV, said in a statement.

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