Starting January 1st, HBO will no longer release overnight ratings for any of their programs. This change for 2015 will cover all programs, including Game of Thrones this spring. The premium channel will instead only provide media outlets with what are known as “Live + same day ratings” (which are issued by Nielsen), as well as VOD and HBO Go viewership numbers.
This move follows FX, which did the same a few months back, and adds to a growing trend of attempting to de-emphasize the instant snapshot ratings from the “live” airing of a show. Game of Thrones is a perfect example of the swing away from this trend, with typical overnight numbers usually showing a viewership of 6 million or so (8 million for the higher watched episodes.) But once Video on Demand viewership, DVR numbers and a week’s worth of reruns got added in, the average viewership numbers per episode often, tripled to close to 20 million.