Game of Thrones ratings dip slightly as “The Watchers on the Wall” faced heavy competition
By Lightbringer on in News.

We may be slightly outnumbered.

While Jon Snow and the Night’s Watch were going to battle against the Wildlings, last night’s episode of Game of Thrones was up against the NBA playoffs, the Tony Awards, and the Miss USA pageant. James Hibberd of Entertainment Weekly is reporting that despite the heavy competition, “The Watchers on the Wall” delivered 6.9 million viewers, dipping only slightly from Thrones’ 7.2 million peak. The ninth episode of season four finished off the night at 8.1 million viewers after a repeat showing.

Next week’s episode will be going up against the finals of the NBA again, with Game 5 landing on Sunday night, but we’ll be armed with a finale of our own. With fans eagerly awaiting the fate of Tyrion Lannister, and now Jon Snow, we can safely expect a final surge in viewership numbers. Here’s to breaking the record one last time in 2014.


58 Comments

  1. Jason Parrish
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

    Hodor?

  2. davy
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

    Stannis!

  3. heh
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

    The King Who Cared

  4. Turncloak
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

    Not bad. So looking forward to the finale and then season 5 casting :-)

  5. WeirwoodTreeHugger
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

    This just proves that the episode was terrible and D&D are hacks and the show is doomed. Doomed!

    /s

  6. Hodor's Bastard
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

    I think it was the bikini swordfights, jousting & melee in the Miss USA contest that took some of the GoT viewers away.

  7. Tyrion Pimpslap
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

    I’m surprised it didn’t drop further. There was a lot of drama heading into Game 2 of the NBA Finals. It sucks that the NBA Finals landed on two Sundays in a row. I was pissed when I saw there were two days off between games 1 and 2. I think next week will be slightly below the series high. The Season 5 premier will likely set a series high, though.

  8. Canis Dirus
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

    Season 6 cancellation confirmed?

  9. Overtone
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

    How does that Rating stuff factor in DVR? Just curious.

    I never watch any of these episodes when they initially air.

  10. Roey
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

    Hodor’s Bastard:
    I think it was the bikini swordfights, jousting & melee in the Miss USA contest that took some of the GoT viewers away.

    I’d totally watch that. GOGO HBO!

  11. mariamb
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

    Tyrion Pimpslap,

    Sunday is Father’s Day so that, along with the NBA Finals, could pull more viewers away. I still think that viewership will break 7.0 for the finale.

  12. RBloodworth
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

    I hate to be this guy, but dare I say that the show may have alienated some viewers with how they killed off Oberyn? (In case you’re wondering, yes, I’ve read the books; I know that’s how things happened there) More so than even the Red Wedding, this latest death seemed to really rub people the wrong way. This show may have indeed reached the proverbial tipping point when it comes to its’ audience’s tolerance for nihilistic sadism.

  13. jasonw
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

    Overtone,

    it doesn’t, these are Nielson Ratings. so you have to have one of their boxes.

    read more here

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nielsen_ratings

  14. Greatjon of Slumber
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

    mariamb:
    Tyrion Pimpslap,

    Sunday is Father’s Day so that, along with the NBA Finals, could pull more viewers away. I still think that viewership will break 7.0 for the finale.

    Then again, there are a lot of fathers who might lay down an ultimatum: “All I want for father’s day is to be left alone on Sunday night.”

  15. Ashara D
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

    Greatjon of Slumber,

    That was me on Mother’s Day! ;-)

  16. vysen1
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

    RBloodworth,

    Really don’t think so. Like the article said, there was a lot of competition, and the dip was very slight. Also, I would think by now that GoT watchers know that this is a show where everyone can die. If there was going to be an exodus of viewers after an event, it would have been The Red Wedding, but instead viewership went up.

  17. lol
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

    Overtone,

    The overnight ratings don’t include DVR. We’ll get the Live+7 ratings towards the end of the week. HBO doesn’t have commercials so they’re more interested in the broader impact a show has in furthering the channel’s brand.

  18. King Stannis
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

    If I’m going back & forth between the finals game and Game of Thrones where do I count on the viewership

  19. Delta1212
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

    Guess we’ll see how it goes with the finale.

  20. Delta1212
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

    King Stannis,

    Unless you have a Nielsen box, you don’t.

  21. Seanathin
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

    King Stannis,

    Well you probably don’t have a box which doesn’t help. But it would depend on where you are when the box takes it’s reading. There are points during the hour when it happens, and the game will never be in break during them. GoT of course won’t ether but it doesn’t have ads.

  22. King Stannis
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

    Seanathin,

    Thanks everyone! I was wondering how that works.

  23. azor aguy
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

    I FIND THE NIGHT’S WATCH SO BLOODY BORING. Especially Jon…what’s his personality?

    The fate of random rapists, murderers, thieves,and wildlings aren’t important.

    The fate of those who fought in Blackwater are important. That’s why it was a battle that people wanted to see.

  24. lol
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

    Newer rating devices (like Nielsen’s people meters) will track viewership down to the minute so if you’re switching between two different programs, minutes will get allocated accordingly. The ratings that get announced are the average for the program. If you only watched half of a show, you’re more or less counted as “half” a viewer.

  25. HellFell
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

    azor aguy,

    Well those rapists and thiefs are the only ones who protect the kingdoms from freaking grumpkinks and snarks and white walkers and cannibals and crazy redhead bitches and ice spiders and dead things in the water etc etc etc

  26. acatlover
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

    azor aguy:
    I FIND THE NIGHT’S WATCH SO BLOODY BORING. Especially Jon…what’s his personality?

    The fate of random rapists, murderers, thieves,and wildlings aren’t important.

    The fate of those who fought in Blackwater are important. That’s why it was a battle that people wanted to see.

    All right, troll. Shut up and go back under your bridge.

  27. stargate1990
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

    I have been seeing alot of complaints for this episode, i really enjoyed it nice cliffhanger at the end with snow very much looking forward to next weeks episode

  28. Check it out
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

    Ygritte’s death to Bon Jovi’s Shot Through the Heart lol
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A4oQzTGTc_g

  29. JamesL
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 6:54 pm | Permalink

    This may be another season where the show does not hit a new series high for the finale. If last weeks episodes didn’t cause a ratings bump then I doubt this one will. Interesting how the ratings have followed the same trend from last year, a lot of growth in the first half and then held steady the rest of the season except for a dip on Mother’s Day.

  30. King Stannis
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

    azor aguy:
    I FIND THE NIGHT’S WATCH SO BLOODY BORING. Especially Jon…what’s his personality?

    The fate of random rapists, murderers, thieves,and wildlings aren’t important.

    The fate of those who fought in Blackwater are important. That’s why it was a battle that people wanted to see.

    I find you boring because you’re just a robot as any complainer in this site.

    Jon is an interesting character whose just a young man learning and understanding who he is. Held back to do what he wants to do because he has honor and duty and respects for some of his fellow “brothers” which I remind you not all of them are bad but just given no choice. You see? He’s by far more interesting than you will ever be.

    The story started with The Wall so the wall is as just as important as any other bullshit happening around Westeros.

  31. Tatters
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

    Canis Dirus,

    In your dreams, biggest cashcow this side off the atlantic.

  32. Jack
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 7:22 pm | Permalink

    azor aguy:
    I FIND THE NIGHT’S WATCH SO BLOODY BORING. Especially Jon…what’s his personality?

    The fate of random rapists, murderers, thieves,and wildlings aren’t important.

    The fate of those who fought in Blackwater are important. That’s why it was a battle that people wanted to see.

    People can call you a troll all they want, but I don’t think you’re entirely wrong here. The reason Blackwater worked so well and was so high stakes was because there were so many major characters at play there: Tyrion, Cersei, Sansa, Joffrey, Stannis, etc. Everyone in KL, and then some.

    Who does the Wall have, besides Jon? Or rather, who at the Wall is as important to the story as Jon? If one major character is all that’s anchoring the audience to a storyline, then putting the focus on other far lesser characters who the audience isn’t all that familiar with isn’t going to add much weight.

    I thought it was an enjoyable hour, but when compared to Blackwater (and being the only other “bottle” episode, the comparison is warranted) it falls fairly short.

  33. Mance Traitor
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 7:29 pm | Permalink

    Who the fuck watches basketball, seriously?

  34. Hodor and the Moondoors
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 7:47 pm | Permalink

    yeah I don’t get all the hate for this episode. I thought it was fantastic. My only complaint was that it felt too short. But the best part? That giant shooting an arrow the size of a tree. Awesome.

  35. The Bastard
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

    Every season people say that a small dip in ratings means that the show is pissing off viewers. It is laughable.

    The show went up against the NBA, Miss USA, Tony’s, & Cosmo’s. And it still barely dipped.

    And HBO cares about the overall numbers for viewers during the entire week.

  36. Ginevra
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 8:27 pm | Permalink

    Not only did viewership ratings drop, but how viewers rated this particular episode dropped most significantly. If you’ll look at this graph, http://graphtv.kevinformatics.com/tt0944947, and I hope that link works, then you can see that The Watchers on the Wall drops down significantly from the previous three episodes, falling well beneath that average seasonal ratings line. This might not seem like much because the episode does still beat out three episodes and tie with a fourth, but when you consider that every previous seasons’ penultimate episodes have consistently beaten all other episodes of the seasons, and significantly so, and when you consider that the budget for Watchers was more than any previous Game of Thrones episode ever, these numbers are sad. Sad, sad, sad.

    There was a lot to love about this episode. The fighting was epic. The swinging anchor chain rocked. The panoramic single shot ending with Ghost filled me with awe. But where was the climax? The three minute battle with the Mountain felt far too short, and the battle at the Wall felt far too long, especially when there is, after forty-five minutes, no end in sight. Obviously a real battle would take days or weeks, but in TV time, we really should never see this much continuous battle without climax.

    That said, I love the show writers, and I think they are doing an unbelievably fantastic job adapting this series, which is not an easy feat. I just think that ending this episode on a higher note would have been the better move.

  37. John M W
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 8:31 pm | Permalink

    There wasn’t a climax at the end because it’s coming in the next episode. This isn’t like most tv shows where the episodes stand alone. Each season is like one 10 hour long film.

    The ending was perfect. If it ended as most wanted, it would have felt like a Blackwater retread. I’m glad they avoided that.

  38. Ginevra
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 8:35 pm | Permalink

    mariamb:
    Tyrion Pimpslap,
    Sunday is Father’s Day so that, along with the NBA Finals, could pull more viewers away. I still think that viewership will break 7.0 for the finale.

    What better way to celebrate Dad’s Day than by watching The Children? I bet Tyrion is right now preparing a very special gift for Daddy Dearest.

  39. Hodor's Bastard
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 9:09 pm | Permalink

    Ginevra: What better way to celebrate Dad’s Day than by watching The Children?I bet Tyrion is right now preparing a very special gift for Daddy Dearest.

    Now that made me laugh! A unique Father’s Day tradition begins!

  40. Ginevra
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 9:17 pm | Permalink

    John M W:
    The ending was perfect. If it ended as most wanted, it would have felt like a Blackwater retread. I’m glad they avoided that.

    I’m not saying we should have had the ending that all book readers were expecting. Actually, it might have been better to have something quite different. But there needed to be some climactic event, whether that is a cliffhanger with Jon’s/Sam’s/Ghost’s life in mortal danger or an actual death of a character we are strongly invested in. Or some intermediate progress and resolution, at least.

    And while no episode stands alone, well written (and well rated) episodes follow their own individual story arcs with a climax near the ending. For example, the top-rated episodes this season include The Lion and the Rose (Joffrey’s death), The Laws of Gods and Men (Tyrion’s trial and request for a trial by combat, placing his life in danger), Mockingbird (Lysa’s death), and The Mountain and the Viper (Oberyn’s death). Other season’s top-rated episodes include The Rains of Castamere (the Red Wedding), And Now his Watch has Ended (Khaleesi screams Dracarys and takes down the masters), Blackwater (Tyrion nearly dies and the battle is over), and Baelor (Ed’s death).

  41. JamesL
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 9:20 pm | Permalink

    The only tough competition was the NBA finales which could have hurt the ratings. None of the other programs should be considered tough competition. Just because there are other programs that air at the same time doesn’t mean “tough competition”. That’s the way TV works, there is always going to be other shows airing on other channels. You can’t use that as an excuse unless the other programs get huge ratings.

  42. vysen1
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 9:22 pm | Permalink

    Ginevra,

    Keep in mind the over whelming majority of people do not bother to rate stuff like that. Hardly a scientific analysis.

  43. vysen1
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 9:25 pm | Permalink

    My co-worker who have watched every episode live, opted to watch the Basketball game instead. A lot of people watch the Tony’s as well. There WAS tough competition this week. Especially since people can just watch it later easily on HBO Go.

  44. John M W
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 9:28 pm | Permalink

    Ginevra,

    The episode ended with the conclusion of Jon/Ygritte’s love story, Sam returning to Gilly, the NW pushing the Wilding force back (temporarily), and Jon resolving to set out to kill Mance.

    I suppose it’s “to each their own”, but I feel that those things were more than enough closure for the episode. It’s a magnificent cliffhanger – maybe less so for book readers, but show only viewers were surely left hanging in a great way.

  45. Restore The Day
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 9:29 pm | Permalink

    Ginevra:
    Not only did viewership ratings drop, but how viewers rated this particular episode dropped most significantly.If you’ll look at this graph, http://graphtv.kevinformatics.com/tt0944947, and I hope that link works, then you can see that The Watchers on the Wall drops down significantly from the previous three episodes, falling well beneath that average seasonal ratings line.This might not seem like much because the episode does still beat out three episodes and tie with a fourth, but when you consider that every previous seasons’ penultimate episodes have consistently beaten all other episodes of the seasons, and significantly so, and when you consider that the budget for Watchers was more than any previous Game of Thrones episode ever, these numbers are sad.Sad, sad, sad.

    I like that site too, but it has a weird way of getting its numbers, at least at first. Last week it counted 400 voters for Mountain/Viper, and that number stayed like that until yesterday where it finally jumped to 10k. So i wouldn’t trust this number too much until the voter count reaches at least 5k, and btw it’s up to 9.7 already now so your concern is relieved :)

    But really, the only numbers that count are the premiere ratings of each season, and the total average viewers per ep. The rest is just us liking numbers too much and trying to build narratives around them to keep from getting bored.

  46. Ginevra
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 9:44 pm | Permalink

    Restore The Day: http://graphtv.kevinformatics.com/tt0944947

    Restore The Day: I like that site too, but it has a weird way of getting its numbers, at least at first. Last week it counted 400 voters for Mountain/Viper, and that number stayed like that until yesterday where it finally jumped to 10k. So i wouldn’t trust this number too much until the voter count reaches at least 5k, and btw it’s up to 9.7 already now so your concern is relieved :)

    Wow, that is a crazy jump in an hour. I wonder how many viewers had rated when it was at 9.1. Did 1000 viewers just go rate the show at 10 to prove me wrong? ;)

  47. I Have No Name
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 10:34 pm | Permalink

    And let’s not forget it’s fathers day, too…..everyone remember to wish Tywin a happy fathers day this Sunday:)

  48. Restore The Day
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 10:42 pm | Permalink

    I hope it will be as much father’s day as mother’s day next week. Mhysa!

    (and Stranger’s day)
    (and Warrior’s day)
    (and Crone’s day)
    (and Maiden’s day)
    (and Smith’s day)

  49. Hodor's Bastard
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 10:49 pm | Permalink

    Ginevra:
    Wow, that is a crazy jump in an hour.I wonder how many viewers had rated when it was at 9.1.Did 1000 viewers just go rate the show at 10 to prove me wrong? ;)

    I have an army of bots that react as necessary to the situation at hand.

  50. Sheriff Bullock
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 11:15 pm | Permalink

    They should finish the seasons before June IMO.

  51. Ginevra
    Posted June 10, 2014 at 12:02 am | Permalink

    Hodor’s Bastard: I have an army of bots that react as necessary to the situation at hand.

    Ah, yes, the bot bombardment. It is known.

  52. Ser Matt the Sullen
    Posted June 10, 2014 at 4:10 am | Permalink

    azor aguy,

    Jon is one of the most important characters, along with Dany and Tyrion. Everyone else is much lower on the list.

  53. Karl_Tanner_of_Gin_Alley
    Posted June 10, 2014 at 5:53 am | Permalink

    I tell ya why ratings dropped mate, that Snow bastard and his wildling c’nt of a bitch did me in at Craster’s. I was a Fookin legend and D&D killed me off….. That’s ok I’m on TURN now. What is that show you ask?…. Honestly idk either. Something about c’nts in red coats….. You want ratings up bring Locke and me self back as White Walkers or I’ll make a wine mug outta ya mate.

  54. GeekFurious
    Posted June 10, 2014 at 6:19 am | Permalink

    Viewership dropped because [insert reason here].

  55. Interior Bannisters
    Posted June 10, 2014 at 7:18 am | Permalink

    Ser Matt the Sullen:
    azor aguy,

    Jon is one of the most important characters, along with Dany and Tyrion. Everyone else is much lower on the list.

    I love this show, but the Wall storyline is really the only one which they’ve never quite been able to capture the magic of. This was a brilliant hour of TV, but we are not invested in Jon’s storyline, or in his relationships with his brothers, or his relationship with Tormund. They’ve only been able to skim the surface of the depth of that storyline.

    But the Kings Landing stuff is so brilliant that it doesn’t matter.

  56. queenofthorns
    Posted June 10, 2014 at 10:00 am | Permalink

    azor aguy,

    Hahah I kind of agree with you… after all there are just so many more interesting characters elsewhere and Jon is so… blah… (And I’m talking about Book!Jon too). However, I DO think that the kingdom is completely fucked when the WW do finally, every so slowly, make it south. So in the end, it probably will be important.

    It’s like Dany’s story, really. Very separate from the rest but obviously important in the long run, IMO.

  57. Arya's Nose
    Posted June 10, 2014 at 10:21 am | Permalink

    I hate sports. ALL SPORTS.

  58. Clob
    Posted June 10, 2014 at 11:25 pm | Permalink

    I just got more peeved about the short episodes. I watched the preview for the Fargo season finale… It’s a 90 minute timeslot!! Yeah, it’s FX so it’s shortened by commercials, but still. Why can’t they extend GoT more than just a few minutes? It’s HBO’S #1 show ever afterall! :/ They should be running up until the :58 minute mark weekly, not :52! I guess HBO likes “break” coming in second in the ratings every week. :(


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