Foxtel has once against smashed its ratings records, with the premiere of the eighth and final season of Game of Thrones being viewed by more than one million people overnight.
The fantasy series has been a major success for the subscription TV network, with Foxtel being the exclusive TV broadcaster of the hit international drama created by HBO.
Oztam's preliminary ratings for the show's debut, which was broadcasted in multiple time slots on Foxtel's Showcase channel, has the total number of linear or "main platform" viewers close to 962,000 viewers.
The first episode also delivered an additional total premiere day audience of 333,000 who streamed it live or on demand across Foxtel Now and Foxtel Go – the biggest daily VPM audience for 2019.
These numbers take the overall viewership to approximately 1.2m in total across both linear and streaming.
Last season's debut drew in 820,000 viewers, which was the highest ratings ever for a series in the history of subscription television in Australia, and was an increase of 13 percent on season six’s launch in 2016.
Season eight's debut saw an increase of 17 percent on the season seven premiere in 2017,
Foxtel is also expected to set a record level of viewership for its streaming platforms as a result of the high engagement with the show.
As a result of last night's debut, episode one of season eight now holds that position. Foxtel also saw major surges in on-demand viewing for the show's earlier seasons prior to last night's debut.
In the lead-up to last night's return, fans watched over four million hours of Seasons 1-7 on Foxtel across the first eight weeks of 2019.
Over 15 million hours of Seasons 1-7 on Foxtel was viewed across the first three months of the year. The third month alone was more than the first two months combined, with the viewing spiking in April.
The show has been watched more in the first three months in 2019 than the full 2018 calendar year.
“On demand streaming of all past seasons of Game of Thrones on Fox Showcase was higher than ever as fans binged in anticipation of the season premiere and we fully expect today’s record-breaking numbers to grow as even more customers continue to watch encore screenings and relive the action on demand," Foxtel executive director of television Brian Walsh says.
"Frankly there is no other show like it. It is the television series of a generation."
Foxtel also launched a series of activations and integrations ahead of the final season of the fantasy series.
As part of the launch, DDB Sydney and Foxtel built a 2000 square metre graveyard that paid tribute to the bloodshed and more than 100,000 deaths over the past seven seasons.
Elsewhere on Foxtel, the network teamed up with Fox Sports and the NRL to launch the first, and last, dedicated GoT round.
Logos and other custom designed on-screen elements will be seen throughout Foxtel's broadcast of the fifth round of the NRL.
Fox League, Fox Footy, Supercars and Fox Rugby also featured in Game of Thrones Round. Also, the Late Show with Matty Johns featured a large amount of Game of Thrones integration, with the panelists, including Johns himself, dressing as characters from the show.
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