The series premiere of HBO's Game of Thrones spinoff series, House of the Dragon, drew 9.986 million views across linear and HBO Max streaming, and spanning U.S., LatAm and EMEA regions, making it HBO's biggest series debut ever, the premium channel said.
Typically, first-day Sunday viewership will account for just 20% - 40% of a show's overall audience.
The April 2011 premiere of Game of Thrones previously held the all-time mark for HBO's audience high for a series debut with 9.3 million viewers -- although that performance occurred well before streaming was a factor.
Meanwhile, in terms of third-party metrics, Samba TV said 2.6 million U.S. households watched House of the Dragon in its first six hours Sunday, either via linear or streaming.
It was far and away the best audience performance of the year for a premium cable TV or streaming series premiere, Samba TV noted, more than doubling the previous-best performance by Netflix's Stranger Things, which saw Season 4, Volume 2 debut to 1.2 million same-day households back at the beginning of July.
Notably, Warner Bros. Discovery reported that HBO has just under 50 million U.S. subscribers across linear and IP-based HBO Max platforms, as of the end of March, which was the last time the company broke out individual HBO subscriber metrics. Netflix has just under 75 million subscribers in the U.S. and Canada.
Samba TV measured viewership for House of the Dragon from 9 p.m. EST Sunday through 3 a.m. EST Monday.
"Just as Stranger Things’ most recent Season 4, Volume 2 drop surpassed its Volume 1 audience, HBO must look to innovative marketing that drives incremental audience growth to break through today’s saturated content marketplace," said Ashwin Navin, co-founder and CEO of Samba TV.
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Daniel Frankel is the managing editor of Next TV, an internet publishing vertical focused on the business of video streaming. A Los Angeles-based writer and editor who has covered the media and technology industries for more than two decades, Daniel has worked on staff for publications including E! Online, Electronic Media, Mediaweek, Variety, paidContent and GigaOm. You can start living a healthier life with greater wealth and prosperity by following Daniel on Twitter today!