Peter Dinklage and Conleth Hill in a scene from season six of the TV series Game of Thrones.
Peter Dinklage and Conleth Hill in a scene from season six of the TV series Game of Thrones. Contributed

Game of Thrones return breaks TV record

THE highly anticipated return of Game of Thrones set a new Australian TV record.

The hit fantasy series continues to gain popularity, with yesterday's season six premiere becoming the most watched program in Australian subscription television history.

The episode, titled The Red Woman, aired at the same time as the US and achieved a total audience of 727,000. 

The figure might not sound that impressive compared to free-to-air ratings, but it's 31 percent larger than season five of Game of Thrones and is the biggest single day audience in Australian subscription TV history,  topping the record previously held by the 2011 Rugby World Cup semi final between Australia and New Zealand.

"This is an absolutely incredible result and beyond our expectations," said Foxtel's Executive Director of Television Brian Walsh.

"It doesn't yet include all of the catch-up viewing from the Foxtel iQ, which will count when we calculate the cumulative audience for the week. When you include those figures, as well as encores across the week, we're forecasting the first episode will absolutely top over one million viewers, a phenomenal result by any measure."

Foxtel, which holds the exclusive broadcast rights for the life of the show in Australia, made it easier to fans to watch Game of Thrones legally this year with a discounted subscription to Foxtel Play for new customers who sign up by April 29.


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