Ice Cold: 'The Witcher' Season 3 Premiere Continues Bad Viewer Spell For the Top Subscription Streaming Platform -- Netflix Weekly Rankings For June 26 - July 2

Netflix original series 'The Witcher'
(Image credit: Netfflix)

When Next TV asked Netflix recently about a year-over-year audience decline we’d observed in the first half of 2023, company press reps told us we had it wrong. 

The platform’s audience is just fine, the reps told us. And besides, fresh hits were on the way, they added, specifically mentioning last week’s season-three premiere of The Witcher

Well, not so much. 

The first five of eight season 3 episodes for the Henry Cavill action-fantasy series drew only 73 million viewing hours in their first four days on Netflix. That was around half of what season 2 debuted to back in December 2021. (Netflix dropped all eight season 2 episodes of The Witcher on December 17, 2021, which accounts for some of the difference, but certainly not all of it.)

And unlike in previous campaigns, catchup viewing for The Witcher was minimal -- season 1 was watched for 17.2 million hours during the week of June 26 - July 2. 

For the week of December 13-19, 2021, season 1 drew nearly 50 million viewing hours. 

Despite the tepid season 3 debut, The Witcher was Netflix’s No. 1 show last week. Chris Hemsworth super-spy shoot-’em-up action drama Extraction 2 was the top film, but its audience whittled to just 36.2 million viewing hours and 17.5 million views in week 3. 

Meanwhile, Colombian melodrama The Surrogacy lost around 40% of its breakout week 2 audience, finishing with just 47.5 million viewing hours last week. 

Few folks are talking about it right now, but we're in the middle of summer, and Netflix is suddenly ice cold. 

(Image credit: Netflix)

(Image credit: Netflix)

(Image credit: Netflix)

(Image credit: Netflix)
Daniel Frankel

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!