A Game of Ratings: S3
By Hear Me Roar on in Speculation.

We are now oh-so-close to the premiere of Season Three. A big part of the waiting ritual in the period leading up to it is of course the speculation on the ratings. Since Game of Thrones is already a huge success no matter what metrics you use, the number of viewers of the initial broadcast is less important and our musings can be more light-hearted for it. Still, everyone would like to see those numbers climb ever higher. First things first, here is the chart of first three seasons’ worth of ratings for a number of premium cable shows, compared with Thrones. As always, note that all viewer numbers refer to the first airing only, and that the graphs of longer seasons have been scaled to correspond to the 10-episode run of GoT. (You can click to enlarge it.)

Three Season Ratings

How strong will the new season open? Which way is the curve going to point? There is every indication that the Game of Thrones audience is still growing. Recently, Entertainment Weekly brought us fresh numbers concerning weekly viewers of the show. On average, 11.6 million people watched Thrones every week, accross all platforms (the previous number we had was 9.3 million). The sales of Season Two box sets broke records again, and was 44 percent higher than the first year, while digital copy downloads saw an increase of over 110 percent. Last year’s Shadow trailer was the most viewed trailer in HBO history on YouTube with over 3.5 million views. This year’s S3 trailer reached a staggering 20 million views! The traffic to our site is likewise reaching record heights, exceeding even the numbers we are used to when Thrones is actually airing. Add to that the fact that GoT was the most pirated show in 2012, and you can see why we are optimistic about the ratings once the show returns at the end of the month.

However, there are also factors that may keep the intial numbers lower than they would otherwise be for the premiere. First, it will run against the finale of The Walking Dead season, which maintains a large share of the audience, regularly landing at the top of the viewership charts for the evening. Second, March 31 will be Easter Sunday. On top of that, the last hour of History’s series The Bible will also air concurrently with Thrones (in the first three weeks the series aired to more than 10 million viewers). While the numbers for the first hour may consequently not be too impressive, we must not forget that episode one of the third season will air three times back to back on premiere night. The cumulative number of viewers should already give us a clearer indication of the possible trends this season.

Hear Me Roar: My prediction is that the three airings together will set a new record for the show, and that the season average for the first airing of each episode will be between 4 and 5 million. I am already looking forward to Tuesdays when the ratings are usually released! Join the discussion in the comments.


113 Comments

  1. Craig
    Posted March 22, 2013 at 9:36 am | Permalink

    Gonna be a make or break season, especially events near the end.

  2. Nick_Scryer
    Posted March 22, 2013 at 9:39 am | Permalink

    I think the Walking Dead finale will knock the premiere showing down, then the repeat hour will be pretty high and all repeats after will be a new combined record for GOT.

    Each week after the premiere will open with highs of between 4 and 5 million. Episode 10 will top 5 million.

  3. excalibur
    Posted March 22, 2013 at 9:40 am | Permalink

    I predict about 5.15 million for the premiere

  4. ebevan91
    Posted March 22, 2013 at 9:41 am | Permalink

    excalibur:
    I predict about 5.15 million for the premiere

    4.9 here

  5. GeekFurious
    Posted March 22, 2013 at 9:41 am | Permalink

    Craig:
    Gonna be a make or break season, especially events near the end.

    The make or break season was 2. This is definitely nothing like that.

    In any event, I am expecting the season 3 premiere will pull in 15 million viewers via all avenues. But the overnight will be somewhere around 8 million for the two airings.

  6. tysnow
    Posted March 22, 2013 at 9:42 am | Permalink

    Winter has Come to Belfast Blizzard

    Sometimes they break to reporters in Belfast and man they are having a mid American type of Storm atm.

  7. NewJeffCT
    Posted March 22, 2013 at 9:44 am | Permalink

    Yes, the premiere is a big dilemma for me – do I watch the season finale of The Walking Dead for a possibly epic finish to the season, or do I watch the start of a possibly epic season at the same time in Game of Thrones.

    Since I’ll be DVRing them both, I might watch AGoT live, and then watch Walking Dead and flip through the commercials right after. However, it’s still undecided.

  8. Matt S
    Posted March 22, 2013 at 9:47 am | Permalink

    6.01 million, I saw it in the flames.

  9. Hear Me Roar
    Posted March 22, 2013 at 9:47 am | Permalink

    GeekFurious,

    There will be three airings the first week ;)

  10. GeekFurious
    Posted March 22, 2013 at 9:48 am | Permalink

    I will be watching GOT live, since there are no commercials. Why would I do it the other way around when once GOT is over, I flip to the DVR and skip all the commercials on WD.

  11. James
    Posted March 22, 2013 at 9:48 am | Permalink

    Game of Thrones will premiere with 2.3 adults 18-49 rating and with 4.70 million viewers.

  12. FSBlue
    Posted March 22, 2013 at 9:48 am | Permalink

    I’ll be interested in the battle between The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones. The two shows have alot of crossover in their audiences. Still I think Thrones will do its best ratings

  13. GeekFurious
    Posted March 22, 2013 at 9:48 am | Permalink

    Hear Me Roar:
    GeekFurious,

    There will be three airings the first week ;)

    Then make it 9 million over 3 airings.

  14. superdeluxe
    Posted March 22, 2013 at 9:51 am | Permalink

    4.2 – Fairly low because losing viewers to Walking Dead.

    I do think total viewings will have a nice bump though a 10-15% bump from the previous season.

  15. Winterlarks
    Posted March 22, 2013 at 9:56 am | Permalink

    I think first airing, if it had no competition, would be around 5 mil. Taking those considerations, I would guess closer to 4.5 mil. After the first show, progressively higher ratings, yes, as previous trends. Advertising has been strong this year and may make a difference in numbers, too (remember the dragon shadow centerfold in the NYT?). Do we win a free GoT t-shirt if we guess the correct number? BTW, a t-shirt is very light, wouldn’t cost much to send to international friends.

  16. Michael Draycott
    Posted March 22, 2013 at 9:58 am | Permalink

    I never thought about how The Walking Dead could bring the ratings down. I hope it doesn’t affect it too much. We can use the same logic that the Greatjon uses when referring to Walder Frey, “Expect nothing from Walder Frey, and you’ll never be surprised!” If we expect low(er) ratings because of The Walking Dead, we could possibly be surprised by what we do get!

    Off-subject: have there been any in-depth (spoiler-filled) reviews of the premiere episode yet?

  17. GeekFurious
    Posted March 22, 2013 at 10:00 am | Permalink

    You are all wayyyyyyy overestimating the effect WALKING DEAD will have on the ratings. Also, cable premieres tend to have increased ratings between premieres, not decreased.

    The ratings for GOT will be HUGE. Mark my words. GIFREAKINGANTIC!

  18. Nick_Scryer
    Posted March 22, 2013 at 10:02 am | Permalink

    GeekFurious,

    If you’re wrong you have to post everything on your website backwards until next year’s premiere. :P

  19. Vikestad
    Posted March 22, 2013 at 10:03 am | Permalink

    Remember most of you fools overestimated the numbers in season 2 with 1-2 million. With that said, I will estimate it being on average 4.1 million the initial viewing.

  20. tysnow
    Posted March 22, 2013 at 10:13 am | Permalink

    My feeling is most WD/GoT fans will DVR WD and watch the GoT season 3 premier live. Furthermore most Bible viewers aren’t GoT fans, they are Glen Beck evangelicals who are asked by their preachers to stay home and watch it (or go to hell). My prediction is 5.2 mil for 1st showing and 8 for the evening across three showings.

    My niece became a GoT fan over the last month watching the DVD’s, I kinda feel sorry for her because she has fallen in love with Richard Madden. but figure she will go Gaga over Daario so hopefully her despair will be tempered.

  21. Hounded
    Posted March 22, 2013 at 10:17 am | Permalink

    I reckon we’ll be looking at an average of 5 million across season 3. I don’t think True Blood will be around too much longer and then Game of Thrones will become HBO’s biggest show. As good as Boardwalk Empire is, I can’t see its viewing figures picking up at all.

    There’s been talk that this is the make or break season and talk whether the RW will put viewers off. I don’t think it will at all. I read the books after watching the first season and I thought the fact that Ned was killed was the coolest thing ever (although very sad). But narratively being so brave as to kill off your main character, that immediately elevated Game of Thrones for me. I delved into the books because I had to find out what happened next. It will be the same after the RW. More and more people are reading the books all the time which means more and more viewers.

    And I just imagine the net exploding after “The Rains of Castamere” episode. It will get heavy attention of media sites and will be trending on twitter and the talk of facebook. Thats bound to get people interested if they aren’t all ready.

  22. blatz
    Posted March 22, 2013 at 10:19 am | Permalink

    I have the Walking Dead-GoT problem too. Probably save Walking Dead for a Monday night watch via DVR.

  23. GeekFurious
    Posted March 22, 2013 at 10:23 am | Permalink

    Nick_Scryer:
    GeekFurious,

    If you’re wrong you have to post everything on your website backwards until next year’s premiere. :P

    I don’t think that will be a problem. ;)

  24. Duff Man
    Posted March 22, 2013 at 10:23 am | Permalink

    A bit off topic, but for those that are interested: Peter Dinklage is scheduled to appear on the Daily Show on Monday March 25th.

  25. zod
    Posted March 22, 2013 at 10:25 am | Permalink

    Michael Draycott: Off-subject: have there been any in-depth (spoiler-filled) reviews of the premiere episode yet?

    You can read some spoilers from the premiere there: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0944947/board/thread/212236127

  26. Maxwell James
    Posted March 22, 2013 at 10:44 am | Permalink

    I’m sure TWD finale will nab a bunch of viewers from GoT’s first airing. But the Bible?

  27. Winterlarks
    Posted March 22, 2013 at 10:44 am | Permalink

    Hounded said,

    “And I just imagine the net exploding after “The Rains of Castamere” episode. It will get heavy attention of media sites and will be trending on twitter and the talk of facebook. Thats bound to get people interested if they aren’t all ready.”

    Well said and I agree.

    (sorry I messed up format)

  28. JamesL
    Posted March 22, 2013 at 10:45 am | Permalink

    Duff Man,

    Awesome!! Thanks for that info, I was wondering when he would do a talk show.

  29. Joan Català
    Posted March 22, 2013 at 10:46 am | Permalink

    Considering TWD finale, I think anything above 4.5mil would be positive (corrupted by the exiting competition). If we get more than 5mil we can be very happy and realistically hope for more than a 6mil finale.

  30. Hear Me Roar
    Posted March 22, 2013 at 10:50 am | Permalink

    Duff Man,

    Awesome! My dream just came true.

    First episode after a long break, too. Everybody will be watching :)

  31. Delta1212
    Posted March 22, 2013 at 10:53 am | Permalink

    My only concern isn’t that people will get put off, or at least, not for the reasons that most people seem to fear. I’m just worried that they’ll think the show is repeating itself. Once is a shock, twice might feel like going back to the same well. Especially with the placement of the episode being the same as with Ned. I think the show format could accentuate similarities between the two events that were less prominent in the books, or introduce new similarities that didn’t exist at all.

    It’s not a huge fear where I think the show will instantly plummet in ratings or anything, but it is a slight concern.

  32. Yago
    Posted March 22, 2013 at 10:54 am | Permalink

    Off topic, but when will we get to see part 2 of FaB’s interviews? Part 1 was really great…

  33. Khaleesi in Training
    Posted March 22, 2013 at 11:02 am | Permalink

    I don’t know anything about ratings, but I think S3 will get a lot of new viewers. HBO has been promo’ing the heck out of S3 in the past few weeks. And I’ve heard so many people (esp around ye ol’ water cooler in the office) saying that they’re watching S1 & S2 to get ready for next week.

    I’m stoked. Just finished my reread of SoS and can’t wait for next Sunday!

  34. Joan Català
    Posted March 22, 2013 at 11:06 am | Permalink

    A question from a Non-US citizen:
    When you get cable in the US, do you get HBO and AMC (GoT and TWD) in the same pack or do they come sepparately? In my home country there’s standard cable with a bazilion of channels, and then, in an entirely different level is what we know as Canal+, which airs most of the HBO’s shows, and is much more expensive and way better.

    I guess the heart of the matter is will GOT lose viewers to TWD, or are we being too pessimistic since most GOT viewers don’t have AMC since they have the superior HBO service?

  35. Friend of Fire
    Posted March 22, 2013 at 11:13 am | Permalink

    Do not underestimate the lure of the Bible on fantasy scifi fans it has love, hate, war, epic battles, murderous beheadings, supernatural interventions, and hero and heroines endowed with a fanatical belief in their own divine destiny, sounds like game of thrones to me. Not a religious person but love the old testament stories, surely if you do not believe them to be true than you must admit that the bible is the greatest work of fantasy ever written in the history of man.

  36. Dark Star
    Posted March 22, 2013 at 11:14 am | Permalink

    GeekFurious: You are all wayyyyyyy overestimating the effect WALKING DEAD will have on the ratings. Also, cable premieres tend to have increased ratings between premieres, not decreased.The ratings for GOT will be HUGE. Mark my words. GIFREAKINGANTIC!

    Yep, yep, and yep! My first thought when reading this topic was “Walking Dead? Pffftttttt!

    GOT will break the freaking bank with this season premiere.

    It is known!

  37. Matt N
    Posted March 22, 2013 at 11:15 am | Permalink

    One
    billion
    viewers.

  38. Maxwell James
    Posted March 22, 2013 at 11:15 am | Permalink

    Joan Català,

    AMC is part of the basic cable bundle in most US communities, whereas HBO has to be paid for separately. So something like 100 million households have AMC, but only 29 million have HBO.

    Moreover, AMC doesn’t repeat its shows nearly as often as HBO does, nor does it make them as easy to stream (assuming you have HBO GO in the first place). So there’s a greater incentive to watch the first screening.

  39. Summer Is Coming
    Posted March 22, 2013 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    Due to all HmR tells us, I guess the premiere will have for its first showing around 4.5. TWD can take quite a chunk of ratings, being a monster itself. Anyhow, this date clearly doesn’t benefit either shows.
    My other guess is that from the second episode on, it will jump to 5… 5 and a bit maybe. I don’t dare to say a bigger number, because last year, everyone was estimating 4 and a half, 5 mil, and that was an overestimate, at least. But that 20 mil views of the trailer makes me hope for a number wich rimes with fix… or why not, with heaven.

    Oh and one other thing. Do you think this year they will skip the weekend of your american Memorial day (correct?) ? because last year we all know what happened to Blackwater… and this year is the RW!

  40. Delta1212
    Posted March 22, 2013 at 11:25 am | Permalink

    Joan Català,

    HBO is a separate subscription that you have to get on top of your cable. AMC is just part of a normal cable package. I’d be legitimately surprised to find someone who had HBO and didn’t have AMC. I’m not even sure you could managed that if you wanted to in most areas.

  41. GeekFurious
    Posted March 22, 2013 at 11:30 am | Permalink

    Here is the problem with any prediction of the GOT ratings.

    1) HBO doesn’t give two poops about overnight ratings for the first airing. It makes absolutely no difference to them so predicting based on network and commercial cable standards is insanity!

    2) Predicting the 18-49 demo for HBO is like predicting the amount of oxygen people are breathing in to calculate the cost per breath for something that is free. HBO DOES NOT CARE ABOUT DEMO. They don’t sell advertisements. Demo rating exist purely to qualify revenue from ads.

    3) HBO cares about viewers, period. All viewers. Whenever they are watching. They expect their subscribers to watch whenever they feel like it. Consider that they re-air each episode two (or three as it seems with the premiere) times, back-to-back. And those with modern-day cable get multiple HBO channels, which means they are airing it 9 to 12 times in a span of 9 hours. Not to mention the HBO Go and HBO On-Demand viewers.

    So predicting what the 9pm viewers number will be is comparing apples to aircraft carriers.

    It makes no sense to do it.

  42. Hear Me Roar
    Posted March 22, 2013 at 11:30 am | Permalink

    Friend of Fire,

    Just adding to the topic:

    I have always loved Bible stories. History’s series, however, is unfortunately rather badly done. Despite that, lots of people watched the first three nights – over 13 million for the premiere, over 10 the other two weeks.

  43. JamesL
    Posted March 22, 2013 at 11:31 am | Permalink

    S1 is set to expire on demand the day of the S3 premiere. I hope HBO keeps both the first and second seasons on demand while the third season is airing so people can still catch up and the audience could grow even more throughout the season. If they take it off on demand then it will be hard for the show to grow its audience past whatever the premiere numbers are.

  44. Maxwell James
    Posted March 22, 2013 at 11:31 am | Permalink

    Friend of Fire,
    Hear Me Roar,

    Sure. I’ve read the Bible, and think it’s great (at least when not being endlessly repetitive).

    But let me put it this way: If, as Neil Marshall put it, the Game of Thrones audience has two sides – the “serious drama” side and the “perv” side – I don’t see either of those sides putting off the premiere in order to watch “The Bible.” The first group would be put off by the stiff acting, and the second half would be put off by the complete lack of begetting.

  45. steiner
    Posted March 22, 2013 at 11:35 am | Permalink

    GeekFurious has the right of it, methinks.

    Ratings comparison are fun to discuss but the business models are completely different. Thus the only useful comparison to make would be between different seasons of Game of Thrones. That would allow an indication for relative change without having to worry about a host of other variables that are difficult to account for.

  46. the other guy
    Posted March 22, 2013 at 11:36 am | Permalink

    I like TWD. It’s a good show, and season 3 has been interesting. But let’s just say that when GoT airs, any other show is secondary. I will certainly watch the premiere 2 or 3 times before I even think about TWD finale.

  47. Dane Gumas
    Posted March 22, 2013 at 11:36 am | Permalink

    ebevan91,

    ABSOLUTELY AMAZING!!! ALL GAME OF THRONES FANS HAVE TO HEAR THIS!!!!
    https://soundcloud.com/kountrykartel/dane-offkey-gumas-rightful

  48. Varamyr Fourskins
    Posted March 22, 2013 at 11:36 am | Permalink

    Well, I’m ready. I just crossed out “Easter” on my calendar and penciled in “Game of Thrones”.

  49. Dane Gumas
    Posted March 22, 2013 at 11:42 am | Permalink

    whatsup Guys
    Hope you’re all cool and looking forward to season 3…. Checkout my track- inspired by the show…. feel free to listen and critique… Would love some feedback.
    Thanks

    https://soundcloud.com/kountrykartel/dane-offkey-gumas-rightful

  50. GG
    Posted March 22, 2013 at 11:47 am | Permalink

    Given how people reacted to Ned’s death in ep 9, & the fears people had that new viewers would tune out due to their outrage, I think it was really clever for D&D to schedule the Red & Purple Weddings in immediately subsequent episodes. The outrage casued by Baelor will pale in comparison to the fury sparked by The Rains of Castamere. They’ll need The Purple Wedding to keep viewers on and remind them that there is still some semblance of justice in the series. I know quite a few fans who finished that section of SoS & didn’t return to the books for weeks, they were so pissed.

  51. The Stannis Way
    Posted March 22, 2013 at 11:48 am | Permalink

    GG,

    Lol if you think PW is in

  52. Duff Man
    Posted March 22, 2013 at 11:48 am | Permalink

    Hear Me Roar,

    It’s funny I went to their web page just curious to see if the guest list was posted for the coming week as they had been off for a few weeks. I was pleasantly surprised to see Dinklage listed. Great show and great guest should be fun to watch!

  53. Mike Chair
    Posted March 22, 2013 at 11:48 am | Permalink

    Maxwell James: … and the “perv” side …

    I resemble that comment.

  54. Delta1212
    Posted March 22, 2013 at 11:51 am | Permalink

    GeekFurious,

    Whether it makes sense depends on what you’re trying to gauge. Demos provide occasionally interesting information about who is watching the show, even if it is literally meaningless as far as renewal goes.

    First airing numbers may not be the most important number to HBO, who obviously doesn’t care when people watch their stuff as long as they’re paying for the subscription, but it is a decent indicator of the show’s popularity because of the way people still watch TV. Things people like tend to get watched time-shifted. Appointment viewing, especially for “water cooler” shows, gets viewed live, or at least night-of, far more often, and the relative numbers for the first showing tend to be decent indicators for how many people are watching overall.

    It provides a metric of comparison that doesn’t take a week/month/year to come out with the numbers. Sure, it’s not the number that HBO will take into account most when discussing renewal, but I don’t think the number watching has really been about figuring out whether the show is going to stay on the air since the first season. It’s just data that’s fun to analyze at this point.

  55. Elisa
    Posted March 22, 2013 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

    I predict that it will break all records 10M

  56. Hassan Madkour
    Posted March 22, 2013 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

    Is anyone aware of these posters?

    http://images6.fanpop.com/image/photos/32200000/got-game-of-thrones-32287775-480-720.jpg

    http://images6.fanpop.com/image/photos/33800000/got-game-of-thrones-33857123-1650-2550.jpg

    the second one is amazing! it reminds me of a book cover, might be the blade itself by Abercrombie

  57. Strong Belwas
    Posted March 22, 2013 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

    I think that the ratings for the season are going to be substantially better than people are predicting – closer to 7 or 8M. Maybe I’m just being excessively optimistic, but I’ve noticed more people talking about GoT now than at any time in the lead up to the last two seasons. I know a lot of people who have only gotten into the show recently, and you can feel the show trickling into the larger cultural zeitgeist more and more. In the last two years, GoT has had a reputation for being a good, daring show. But the way I hear people talking about it now, it’s absolute must-watch TV.

  58. Chris
    Posted March 22, 2013 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

    Nick_Scryer,

    So true. It will be like choosing between my children! Thank heavens for DVR.

  59. SergioCQH
    Posted March 22, 2013 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

    I think premiere will get 4.8 million. Finale will get 5.4 million.

  60. Al Swearengen
    Posted March 22, 2013 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

    Who’s bright idea was it to have the premiere on the same night as The Walking Dead Finale ?

  61. wiltl
    Posted March 22, 2013 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

    Luckily, I have the East coast feed of HBO in my cable package and live on the West coast. So, I’ll be watching the premier at 6pm (maybe again at 7 and 8!) and then The Walking Dead at 9pm!

  62. Nancy
    Posted March 22, 2013 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

    GG,

    I know people who stopped watching the show after Ned died. But obviously, not enough to stall ratings. I expect the same after the Rains of Castamere episode but I feel like the RW has been plenty spoiled and the only ones who will be surprised are ones who did not read the books and avoid GoT on the net. So I think some will stop watching but I do not think it will hurt ratings in the long run As for ratings predictions, I don’t expect GoT to get Walking Dead numbers per episode but I think they will have higher ratings per episode then they did in season 1 and 2.

  63. Jason Nichols
    Posted March 22, 2013 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

    Dane Gumas,

    That was awful. Just awful.

  64. Jason Nichols
    Posted March 22, 2013 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

    GG,

    Wait.. What? I love how you’re saying this like its a fact lol.

  65. Jake Rogers
    Posted March 22, 2013 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

    I predict 5.5 million for the premiere and around 6 for the finale. You heard it here first ;).

    Question to the Bible viewers – are there any other GoT actors included in the show? I haven’t seen it, but I saw a clip of the actor who plays Yoren in it!

  66. Toast
    Posted March 22, 2013 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

    I must not be looking at this right. Is this graph saying that Blackwater was the least watched show of last season? How could that be?

  67. Dane Gumas
    Posted March 22, 2013 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

    Jason Nichols,

    Thanks for your feedback…. any pointers or constructive criticism?

  68. Isabelle
    Posted March 22, 2013 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

    Records will probably be broken somewhere. Hopefully lots of them!

    The traffic to our site is likewise reaching record heights, exceeding even the numbers we are used to when Thrones is actualy [sic] airing.

    It would be interesting to see some data on this, and on the traffic of other Thrones-related sites, Westeros.org and Tower of the Hand for example. What are your hit counts like these days, controlling for people who visit the site multiple times a day?

  69. Tyrion Pimpslap
    Posted March 22, 2013 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

    Toast,

    It aired on a holiday that is pretty much considered the start of Summer in the US. A lot of people vacation on this holiday, so they missed the Sunday premier.

  70. John
    Posted March 22, 2013 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

    tysnow: My feeling is most WD/GoT fans will DVR WD and watch the GoT season 3 premier live. Furthermore most Bible viewers aren’t GoT fans, they are Glen Beck evangelicals who are asked by their preachers to stay home and watch it (or go to hell). My prediction is 5.2 mil for 1st showing and 8 for the evening across three showings.

    This entire paragraph is conjecture. Why would people automatically DVR The Walking Dead and watch Game of Thrones live instead of the other way around? Everyone has different viewing habits. Considering that one is a finale, people might want to watch that first in order to finish off one show before starting another. I don’t like The Walking Dead, so I stopped watching it early in Season 3. But if I was still watching, I’d watch it live and DVR Game of Thrones. I like Game of Thrones much better, so that might seem counter-intuitive, but I prefer to save my favorite shows for last. So Game of Thrones is always my last-watched show on crowded Sunday nights unless Breaking Bad also happened to air on the same night.

    And where are you getting your information about viewers of The Bible (I haven’t seen it, so I can’t speak to its quality)? People can like The Bible while also liking Game of Thrones. And they can like it without liking Glenn Beck or being told by their ministers to watch or go to hell (by the way, most ministers don’t actually say things like that, assuming they mention a miniseries on The History Channel at all–they would rather their congregation read The Bible than watch a miniseries about it).

  71. Tyrion Pimpslap
    Posted March 22, 2013 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

    Prediction for the premier:

    9 PM – 4.1 million
    10 PM – 2.8 million
    11 PM – 0.9 million
    Total Viewers – 7.8 million

    Prediction for the season averages:

    9 PM Premier – 4.5 million
    Average Total viewers per episode – 13 million
    Finale 9 PM Rating – 5.2 million

  72. Tyrion Pimpslap
    Posted March 22, 2013 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

    John,

    The Walking Dead has commercials and GOT doesn’t. That was probably his reasoning for suspecting most would DVR it and watch GOT live.

  73. Friend of Fire
    Posted March 22, 2013 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

    Hear Me Roar,

    i would have to agree with you about the history series it is not as good as it could be. But if they ever take seperate stories from the bible and produce something like Vikings it would be off the chain, now thats enough of the bible i am like wishing it was Easter SUNDAY so can finally quench my game of thrones thirst LOL. :)

  74. whiteladder
    Posted March 22, 2013 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

    Tyrion Pimpslap,

    Those numbers are pretty close to what I was thinking as well.

  75. Jake
    Posted March 22, 2013 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

    Game of Thrones takes priority over other TV. And, seeing how boring this season of Walking Dead has been, there is no question what I’ll be watching on the 31st.

  76. Rygar
    Posted March 22, 2013 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

    Now if only GoT could find a way to add more zombies to the show…..other than Kit’s acting.

    Teasing of course. If Kit and Jaime took a bath together…oh lordy watch out Walking Dead! You’d have walking Head. Seriously.

  77. Winterlarks
    Posted March 22, 2013 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

    Toast,

    I know, I saw that dip in ratings also and I don’t get it.

  78. zod
    Posted March 22, 2013 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

    Winterlarks,

    http://winteriscoming.net/2012/05/ratings-dip-for-episode-19/

    As James notes, this drop is likely due to the Memorial Day holiday, where historically overall TV viewership drops around 20%.

  79. tysnow
    Posted March 22, 2013 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

    John,

    Of course its conjecture, I did say “my feeling is….”, as for the Bible audience, I am being sarcastic, in a way. My old pastor use to tell the congregation to watch certain shows and/or movies to support the creators, so they would make more of them.

  80. David The Grey
    Posted March 22, 2013 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

    I’m a fan of TWD too. The sad thing is, I don’t own a DVR. I feel that I’ve mostly seen the best parts of TWD’s “governor vs. Rick” storyline already. Further, I think TWD dvd’s are released sooner than GoT, so if I had to miss one and wait until the dvd to see it, I’d be waiting longer for GoT. And while I could watch the GoT premiere on HBO GO, I don’t much like watching entire episodes on my PC, much prefer them on TV.

    With that logic, I’ll be watching GoT’s premiere instead of TWD. Bring it on! I’m sooo ready!

  81. Delta1212
    Posted March 22, 2013 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

    I have a feeling that anyone lost by The Red Wedding will probably be back as soon as they hear about The Purple Wedding. Even if that’s not until next season, I’m fairly confident that season 4 will have been greenlit well before we get far into season 3, so I think any drop (which I’m not expecting) will be overcome before it’s even an issue.

    David The Grey,

    You know they play each episode of Game of thrones twice the first night, right? Apparently the premiere will have it on three times, I’ve heard, so if you want to watch both the night they air on TV, you could just catch one of the repeat showings of GoT.

  82. M
    Posted March 22, 2013 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

    tysnow,

    Still, you where kind of being an ass.. People can like the Bible (both the show AND the book) and still like things like Game of Thrones and HATE Glenn Beck. Not all people who believe in a higher power are judgmental jerks but you seem to be.

  83. Mage
    Posted March 22, 2013 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

    So it’s the Game of Thrones s3 premier going up against two fictional zombie stories – that is assuming they run the resurrection story on easter haha

  84. GeekFurious
    Posted March 22, 2013 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

    M:
    tysnow,

    Still, you where kind of being an ass.. People can like the Bible (both the show AND the book) and still like things like Game of Thrones and HATE Glenn Beck.Not all people who believe in a higher power are judgmental jerks but you seem to be.

    In fact, the largest and most socially liberal group in the country is, surprisingly enough, Catholics.

  85. Shock Me Sane
    Posted March 22, 2013 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

    I think the greatest concern the show has is not even the dramatic events that unfold, but rather that every season thus far will have ended in an episode 9 Lannister triumph. I do wonder how the general viewership will take it and if they will wonder if it ever gets any better?

  86. Summer Is Coming
    Posted March 22, 2013 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

    Al Swearengen, Actually it was TWD who placed their finale on the 31st, knowing GoT premiere was on the same night! GoT announced this date since July, at the Comic-Con!

  87. Johan Sporre
    Posted March 22, 2013 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

    Based on Google trends in the US now in the weeks before the premiere I’d guess that the premiere should have about 25% more viewers than last year’s, i.e. close to 5 million. Now with competition from TWD I’ll be conservative and say 4.47 million.
    The average first airing will have a tad over 5 million and the final episode 5.5 million.

  88. Hear Me Roar
    Posted March 22, 2013 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

    Isabelle,

    Hi there,

    First, thanks for pointing out the typo :)

    We have all the nice metrics, and track the number of unique visitors to our site and much more. I will however let Winter decide if we want to share that, might be a trade secret ;) I can just say we have been amazed lately.

  89. Isabelle
    Posted March 22, 2013 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

    Hear Me Roar:

    Hi there,

    First, thanks for pointing out the typo :)

    We have all the nice metrics, and track the number of unique visitors to our site and much more. I will however let Winter decide if we want to share that, might be a trade secret ;) I can just say we have been amazed lately.

    Indeed–say no more :-)

    Thanks for the reply!

  90. tysnow
    Posted March 22, 2013 at 6:47 pm | Permalink

    GeekFurious,

    That is true, many conservative Christians forget with all the right wing rhetoric from the Republican party, Beck, Limbaugh and others that have high jacked religion, that Jesus is a socialist, albeit with some form of controlled market capitalism (keep the 1% from controlling to much of the GDP).

    I like the Bible (The real deal), but most people I know who go to church don’t watch GoT let alone HBO, so I am talking from my own experience. If the majority of Bible viewers also watch GoT it will be quite a shock. We will know in 12 days (ratings come out).

    BTW, waiting for Aronofsky’s “Noah” to be released.

    HBO should make a series on King David’s life, that would be epic and right up their alley.
    Chronicles and Kings full of sex, incest, murder, betrayal, adultery, espionage, war, treason, love, hope, singing, giants, living tree’s (passage about army fleeing into a forest and the forest destroying them), perhaps wood elves lived in that forest. Then of course we have GOD himself, not to mention lions and bears, but no Vikings or Packers unfortunately. Perhaps it could be the replacement for BE in 4-5 years when the series concludes.

  91. Delta1212
    Posted March 22, 2013 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

    Just noticed that the second spoiler bar I put in my last post seems to have gone missing and I can’t edit any longer. Mod want to help me out?

  92. Leuf
    Posted March 22, 2013 at 9:19 pm | Permalink

    It really goes to show how difficult it would be for HBO to get away from the current subscription model. With all the options for movies nowadays, if you’re paying for HBO today you would think it would be mainly for their original content. You would think they would know the score as far as what type of content HBO puts out and not be turned off by the adult content in Game of Thrones. And yet maybe 1/6th of the people paying for it watching the premiere would be a good showing, and a bit more than 1/3 of them eventually getting around to watching it is all you could hope for. You’ve got something like maybe half their subscriber base that probably hardly ever use it but pay a couple hundred dollars a year for it anyway.

  93. WildSeed
    Posted March 22, 2013 at 10:16 pm | Permalink

    TrueBlood is s porn show with a Louisiana Bayou setting, of course people
    tune in :D

  94. PhoenixDark
    Posted March 22, 2013 at 10:22 pm | Permalink

    I’ll say 4.4 for the premier

  95. Anne
    Posted March 22, 2013 at 11:36 pm | Permalink

    I watch the Walking Dead, but there is no scenario that sees me watching it before Game Of Thrones. I don’t care that I’ve been watching it for months, or that it’s the season finale. Game of Thrones comes first. WD gets DVR’d.

  96. Delta1212
    Posted March 22, 2013 at 11:40 pm | Permalink

    tysnow,

    Have you seen Kings? It’s a re telling of the story of King David in a modern-day fictional world. I forget the name of the kid who plays David, but Ian McShane plays a sort of amalgam of Saul and bits of older King David’s life. It was a network show, but quite good for what it was.

    It, of course, only lasted one season.

  97. The Stannis Way
    Posted March 23, 2013 at 1:06 am | Permalink

    Jake Rogers,

    The bible starred Yoren as King Saul, Xaro Xhoan Daxos as Samson, Amory Lorch as a generic Phillistine antagonist to Samson, and the Mountain (Conan Stephens) as Goliath. I haven’t watched the most recent episode, so maybe there are more.

  98. Alen
    Posted March 23, 2013 at 10:24 am | Permalink

    I’m guessing the ratings will be around 4.5 mil. But the initial ratings are not as important as season average ratings (which for S2 was around 11 mil which is huge for HBO). The S3 average ratings will be 13-15 mil. But we’ll have to wait a long time until we get a confirmation on those numbers.

  99. BiiaCX
    Posted March 23, 2013 at 11:11 am | Permalink

    +1 Anne.

    I watch both shows and used to be addicted to The Walking Dead, and while this season is more thrilling than the second one, there’s no way in hell I’d watch it over the premiere of a show I’ve been waiting a year to watch. I hope some viewers feel the same. But I’m not sure so we’ll see…I do hope it doesn’t affect GOT’s ratings that much.

  100. David The Grey
    Posted March 23, 2013 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

    Delta1212: You know they play each episode of Game of thrones twice the first night, right? Apparently the premiere will have it on three times, I’ve heard, so if you want to watch both the night they air on TV, you could just catch one of the repeat showings of GoT.

    Very true, you have a valid point. But then I wouldn’t be able to geek out in the comments here at WiC.net with everyone else after the first showing aired! I can’t be late to that party! :-)

  101. PLP
    Posted March 23, 2013 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

    In my opinion, the viewers will be quite satisfied with episode 10, considering that **MAJOR SPOILER** even if the PW is not in it, the scene when Daenerys frees the slaves of Yunkai will definitely happen, and it’s going to be an EPIC win! **MAJOR SPOILER**.

  102. Michelle Yvette Peeples
    Posted March 23, 2013 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

    I’m in the same boat as a few of the commentators here. I love Game of Thrones and I love the Walking Dead. Having said that I will watch Game of Thrones live and DVR the Walking Dead which I will watch immediately following Game of Thrones. I have read and reread all the books and I need to see the season premiere first hand. I have waited too long for this.

    Somewhere the genre gods are laughing at us with their loyalty tests.

  103. Ned
    Posted March 23, 2013 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

    Most fans here don’t contribute to ratings, and they should die.

  104. Shores of Pyke
    Posted March 24, 2013 at 5:00 am | Permalink

    How am I supposed to contribute to ratings when I live in Sweden?

  105. Hear Me Roar
    Posted March 24, 2013 at 7:39 am | Permalink

    Isabelle,

    Hello,

    So, here are some numbers.

    This past week broke records both in total visits/hits and in the number of unique visitors, and by about 50% at that. The previous record numbers were reached during the premieres and especially the finales of each seasons, so getting such numbers already two weeaks ahead of S3 airing is unexpected.

    The total hits this month (three weeks in) already reached 1 million. Previously we managed to just touch that line during the show airing, now we will be well over 1 million in March, the month before the show airs.

    Since New Year’s, the numbers have been climbing ever upwards, ahead of last year’s trend. For two days in a row last week, we had over 50,000 unique visitors coming to the site, which is the current record. In this current period, somewhere betweet 30k to 40k different people visit out site every day.

    We are happy with the increase in numbers, reflecting the growing popularity of GoT, and as we would like to think the quality of our site as well.

  106. Nancy
    Posted March 24, 2013 at 8:05 am | Permalink

    Summer Is Coming,

    I am assuming that episode 9 will not air until the first weekend of June. HBO has the Liberace movie starring Matt Damon and Michael Douglas scheduled to air on 5/26. I am assuming they want to get the movie shown before Emmy deadline.

  107. GG
    Posted March 24, 2013 at 6:41 pm | Permalink

    The Stannis Way,

    It is. We’ve seen a shot of it. There’s a trailer(can’t remember which one) that has a shot of Cersei & Olenna in the Sept of Baelor as Joffrey & Margaery walk out into the light(presumably a blacony for your cliche public shot). What else could that be but the Purple Wedding

  108. GG
    Posted March 24, 2013 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

    Nancy,

    That’s true but the true nature of it hasn’t been spoiled. They don’t know he dies this season. Whatsmore, it would be one thing if Robb died in the fields of battle, honouring his cause. But to go out like he did was just awful. Combine that with Cat’s death and what they did to Grey Wind, it’s gonna get messy. That and I know quite a few people who were spoiled for what happens in s2 and, as a result, avoid GoT comment sections like the plague and are 100% unspoiled. But I think they’ll all come back to see Joffrey die for being the little sh!t that he is so it’s good marketing.

  109. GG
    Posted March 24, 2013 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

    Jason Nichols,

    See my reply to The Stannis Way

  110. David The Grey
    Posted March 24, 2013 at 8:24 pm | Permalink

    Hear Me Roar,

    Thanks for the numbers, HMR! Interesting to see, and heartening!

  111. moussa
    Posted March 25, 2013 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

    I’d say 6.5 millions and if you count the illegal downloads you are looking at double that number

  112. Isabelle
    Posted March 25, 2013 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

    Hear Me Roar:

    [Site metrics]

    We are happy with the increase in numbers, reflecting the growing popularity of GoT, and as we would like to think the quality of our site as well.

    Brilliant, thanks!

    This is incredible, and I’d hazard a guess to say that your success has quite a bit to do with the quality of the site. Mainly the inimitable FaB, of course ; )

    Please tell me that you’re going to do a post that highlights these statistics, perhaps at season’s end, to show how the show’s growing popularity and place in pop culture has impacted the Game of Thrones fandom. There have been a few articles in the media about this recently, but none from a fansite itself, so there’s a gap that sorely needs filling…

    Also, have you had to upgrade your servers at all? I imagine a significant increase in traffic might overwhelm something less capable, so do let us know if we should start supporting the site with more than our hits.

  113. Anonymous
    Posted March 30, 2013 at 11:52 pm | Permalink

    tysnow:
    GeekFurious,

    That is true, many conservative Christians forget with all the right wing rhetoric from the Republican party, Beck, Limbaugh and others that have high jacked religion, that Jesus is a socialist, albeit with some form of controlled market capitalism (keep the 1% from controlling to much of the GDP).

    I like the Bible (The real deal), but most people I know who go to church don’t watch GoT let alone HBO, so I am talking from my own experience. If the majority of Bible viewers also watch GoT it will be quite a shock. We will know in 12 days (ratings come out).

    BTW, waiting for Aronofsky’s “Noah” to be released.

    HBO should make a series on King David’s life, that would be epic and right up their alley.
    Chronicles and Kings full of sex, incest, murder, betrayal, adultery, espionage, war, treason, love, hope, singing, giants, living tree’s (passage about army fleeing into a forest and the forest destroying them), perhaps wood elves lived in that forest. Then of course we have GOD himself, not to mention lions and bears, but no Vikings or Packers unfortunately. Perhaps it could be the replacement for BE in 4-5 years when the series concludes.

    I’m not a Christian, but saying Jesus was a “socialist” is utterly ridiculous. Socialism requires “redistribution of wealth (and/or resources)”, be it by the State or the Collective. And if you were a Marxist, it would go as far as the joint-ownership of the “means of production”.

    Nowhere does the Bible or Jesus, advocate coercion to help the poor and needy. It merely says to Help the poor and needy. That is called CHARITY, i.e. “voluntary interaction”, completely compatible and encouraged by freemarket-capitalism.

    Jesus was NOT a socialist. He gave the blind the power to see; he did not take the eyes of one man and give it to another. He raised the dead; he did not take the life of someone to give life to another. He fed the hungry with bread; he didn’t force someone else to farm it, confiscate it and feed it to others.

    That is what socialism does, it is forced redistribution from coercion. Tax someone, give welfare to another. Don’t pay taxes, go to jail; resist going to jail, get shot. Jesus did NOT do that in any biblical account. The freemarket and charity are free from coercion.

    ————————————————–
    Yours truly,
    A Libertarian (Classical-Liberal),
    Striving for social and economic freedom.


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