HD Ratings: Thrones Lifts Its Game at Home

Sky TV doesn’t release ratings figures for channels like SoHo but it confirms this week’s third-season Game of Thrones premiere posted a big jump in viewership.

“There was an almost 20 per cent increase in average viewership for Monday night’s season premiere compared with the season two premiere last year,” entertainment programming boss Travis Dunbar told ScreenScribe.tv.

“Given its premiere over a holiday weekend, we expect a further increase once consolidated ratings are added next week.”

He believes one of the reasons for the improvement was Thrones screening just hours after its US premiere whereas SoHo launched season two a fortnight after the US.

However, bear in mind that Sky’s premium more channels are more popular than SoHo, and even a blockbuster like Sky Movies 1’s premiere of  The Avengers on Sunday could average only 2.0% – 2.9% of the key demographics.

Meanwhile, Entertainment Weekly reports Thrones’ series-high ratings on HBO this week makes it the network’s biggest current moneymaker.

“The show’s annual production cost (north of $US55 million per season) is offset by strong international and DVD sales. If ratings trends for Thrones and HBO’s top-rated True Blood continue this year, Thrones could replace the vampire drama as the network’s most-popular show.”

HBO renewed Thrones for a fourth season this week, which EW says is expected to primarily use material from the back half of the lengthy third book in George RR Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire saga, A Storm of Swords, as well as content from other novels in the series.

And New York magazine has a fascinating take on how Thrones’ fire-breathing dragons will evolve this season.

Reports the magazine: “Short of giving the three dragons acne, adolescence means big changes to the look of last season’s parrot-size creatures, and aging them up was largely a matter of capturing that mercurial teen angst.”

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