Game of Thrones return breaks records for Crave

Bell Media said the season-eight premiere is the most-watched episode ever on a Canadian pay TV channel, while the return also drove record SVOD activity on Crave.
Game of Thrones from Bell site

A nearly two-year hiatus did nothing to diminish Game of Thrones‘ momentum in Canada as the season-eight premiere posted record-breaking numbers on Crave’s SVOD platform and pay TV channel.

According to Bell Media, the Sunday-night episode attracted a preliminary average audience of 2.1 million viewers, making it the most-watched episode in specialty and pay TV history. In total, 2.9 million viewers tuned in to the episode across Crave’s linear, on demand, and streaming platforms.

The show’s return also drove a record number of subscriber signups to Crave’s SVOD service. In the week leading up to the premiere, Bell Media said the rate of subscriber additions was 1000% higher than an average week. Meanwhile, on the day of the premiere, the rate of signups was 3000% higher than an average day.

The launch of Game of Thrones‘ final season comes five months after Bell Media unveiled a significant change to its pay TV and digital strategy. Among the changes, HBO became available as a direct-to-consumer product (not tied to a linear TV package) for the first time.

In the U.S., Game of Thrones also posted record numbers in its season-eight return. On HBO, the episode attracted 17.4 million viewers, with 11.8 million of those watching live and the remainder watching during encore presentations and on HBO’s digital platforms. Both Crave and HBO (U.S.) said Sunday represented the biggest ever night of streaming activity on their digital services.