The HBO-produced series Game of Thrones is officially the most watched series ever shown on the Sky network
An average of 5 million weekly viewers tuned in to the fantasy drama over season six. The figure includes people streaming episodes from Sky Go and Now TV, with Sky increasing audience numbers by offering catch-up box-sets for people not familiar with the show as part of its on demand services.
Viewership grew by 41% from the previous season, a huge mark-up following the appointment of Sky Atlantic director Zai Bennett two years ago. Bennett said: “It’s an amazing phenomenon, particularly when you consider that we are in half of the homes in the UK and it’s quite an adult, grown-up piece of television.
“When I arrived we had 20% growth in its audience and I thought that can’t carry on, but it has. It’s insane.”
The show is broadcast twice on Mondays on Sky Atlantic, once at 2am to match the US broadcast and again at 9pm, with 1 million viewers now recording the early-hours showing to watch later, twice that of the prime-time evening slot.
It has also been announced this week that fans will have to wait over a year for the next series. Filming has been delayed so that the show can be shot at winter in accordance with the show's plot. Last year, Game of Thrones was the most illegally downloaded show for the fourth time in a row at 14 million webrips.