'Black Sails' Casts Off With Strong Second-Season Debut

Starz’s pirate drama provided the premium network with some impressive Nielsen bounty in its return.

The second-season premiere of Black Sails, the prequel to Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic Treasure Island, notched a 25% jump on live+3 basis compared to its series' opener.

The sophomore-season bow captured 860,000 viewers on Jan. 24 at 9 p.m. according to Nielsen live+same-day data, edging past the 846,000 who watched the series opener on Jan. 25, 2014.

Total weekend viewership tallied 2.24 million watchers, down nearly 8% from the 2.43 million watchers for the series’ bow in 2014, but up 27% from the 1.77 million watchers for the first-season concluder.  Moreover, Starz officials noted that the second-season’s opening weekend surpassed the first season’s weekend average of 2.05 million watchers by 9.2%.

Starz executives noted that the episode had wind in its viewing sales as partial multiplatform data had the  second season return floating toward 4 million viewers. That tally, they said, did not include contributions from additional multiplex runs, Starz on Demand, Starz Play and other digital airings, nor the full live+7 effect.

The second installment of the 10-episode, second campaign embarks on Jan. 31 at 9 p.m. Starz has already ordered a third season of Black Sails.