HBO Lost Half Viewers Since GOT Finale:
Game of Thrones was in the middle of harassment when it released its last season. Fans were particularly pissed about the lack of efforts and the ending which was not expected. This resulted in a permanent dent in the franchise’s image. Till season 7, the entire series was considered to be elite. But when the finale season released, fans even refused to consider it as a season, because they said it was that bad. But because of Game of Throne’s popularity, HBO became one of the most-watched cable networks in the USA and dominated awards seasons for a number of years. However, following the show’s end, the network has struggled to produce a show with the same crossover appeal. Shows like the Watchmen were critically acclaimed were produced which help fill the gap that was left by Game of Thrones. But then again, it failed to capture the same rating as Game of Thrones. But a new report listing the ratings for 2020 reveals just how much smaller the network’s audience got following its conclusion.
The show, based on George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire novels, was a genuine pop culture phenomenon, crossing over demographics and becoming a cultural touchstone for the eight seasons it was on the air. Variety has revealed its list of most-watched TV networks for 2020, revealing that HBO suffered last year, shedding far more viewers than previously suspected.
The report states that among the 18-49 audience, HBO’s key demographic and the audience who tuned in to watch Game of Thrones in their millions, dropped by more than half. Overall, the network didn’t fare much better, losing 38% of its audience in 2020 compared to 2019. The massive drop in viewers is attributed to Game of Thrones, which broadcasts its eighth and final season in 2019, ending.
Now, this only points to the importance of the show which brought in audiences from all around the world, who otherwise wouldn’t tune in to the network’s other premium series. It also reveals why the network rushed to create a number of shows to fill the gap its conclusion left. None of those shows have proven to be as popular, though, and even House of the Dragon, the Game of Thrones prequel show currently in development at the network. But then, it is also unlikely to get the same viewing figures. The rating drop can also perhaps be revealed as the reason why Warner Media, the company which owns HBO, is so focused on its new streaming service HBO Max, releasing their entire 2021 slate on HBO Max.
They’re clearly hoping the prospect of seeing big-budget releases on the day of release will get the subscribers and increase viewing numbers, making up for the shortfall of cable viewers. Hopefully, the gamble pays off for the studio, as it’s unlikely to ever have a TV hit of the size of Game of Thrones in the near future.