‘Game of Thrones’ finale brings a record 19.3 million viewers to HBO on Sunday

HBO’s highly anticipated finale of “Game of Thrones” on Sunday was the most watched program in the premium cable network’s history, with 19.3 million viewers.

Citing Nielsen data, HBO said 13.6 million viewers watched the final TV chapter of the Stark family saga on television, surpassing the 13.4 million viewers who tuned in for the fourth season premiere of “The Sopranos” in the pre-streaming days of September 2002.

Another 5.7 million viewers watched online through HBO Now and HBO Go. The previous audience high for a “Game of Thrones” episode was 18.4 million on May 12.

Viewing for the “Game of Thrones” finale was higher than the 18 million people who tuned in for the final episode of television’s most watched comedy, “The Big Bang Theory,” which aired Thursday on CBS. But that number is expected to go up significantly when delayed viewing is added in.

While any network would love to have audiences the size of the two recent finales, the big collective gatherings of viewers saying goodbye to beloved major TV series are simply not as big as they used to be.

Streaming, DVRs and on-demand viewing allow people to catch up on their favorite shows if they can’t be in front of a screen to watch at air time.

Such farewells generated massive audiences before the TV landscape was fragmented by streaming and the multitude of choices offered by cable.

The finale of “Friends,” which ended its original run on NBC in 2004, was watched by 52.5 million. NBC’s “Seinfeld” drew 76 million in its 1998 finale.

The biggest finale episode ever was for “MASH,” which pulled in 106 million viewers on CBS in 1983. It held the record for the most-watched TV program of all time until Super Bowl XLIV in 2010 scored 106.4 million.

The “MASH” audience was so large, New York City reported a drop in water pressure during the commercial breaks.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Teachers condemn government’s actions towards doctors

“That they should be treated with such contempt is deeply disturbing”

Central Alberta centre gets more provincial dollars to deal with rising caseload of abused children

CEO Mark Jones expects to be helping 1,000 abused kids annually by 2024

Crime significantly reduced in Lacombe County subdivision when gate installed

Two-year pilot project at Westside Country Estates prompts county to adopt a gate policy

Security for empty nursing home is pricier than it would have been to knock it down

Provincial taxpayers have now paid more to mothball a former nursing home… Continue reading

Birds move into new wildlife hospital

Medicine River Wildlife Centre to host grand opening this spring

Fashion Fridays: The 8 best quality online stores! Shop the ultimate sales

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Your community calendar

Feb. 19 A Liberation of Holland event is being held at the… Continue reading

Spurgeon records hat trick to lead Wild to 5-3 victory over Oilers

Wild 5 Oilers 3 EDMONTON — Jared Spurgeon scored three goals as… Continue reading

Bergeron stays hot with two goals as Bruins topple Flames 4-3

Bruins 4 Flames CALGARY — Patrice Bergeron continued his torrid scoring on… Continue reading

POLL: Do you think there will be funds in the provincial budget for the Red Deer hospital?

Do you think there will be significant funds in Thursday’s provincial budget… Continue reading

Northern Ontario’s Krista McCarville claims Tournament of Hearts playoff berth

MOOSE JAW, Sask. — Protective of their curl-life balance, Krista McCarville and… Continue reading

Gary Harris’s generosity helped shape our college, and our city, writes Joel Ward

I was deeply saddened to learn of Gary Harris’s passing. I first… Continue reading

A teen’s perspective: Ordinary Canadians are paying a price for railway blockades

The following is a letter by Alberta teenager Liam Smith to his… Continue reading

Bashaw filmmakers capture grasslands’ beauty

Documentary showcases how a unique ecosystem is surviving

Most Read