1:19pm PT by Mikey O'Connell
HBO Becomes Latest Network to Turn Its Back on Same-Day Ratings
Let's face it: HBO hasn't had much of a reason to share ratings on Monday morning for some time.
The pay cable network has no advertisers and has seen its slate of original Sunday night series that draw more and more of their audiences from time-shifting. So it should come as little surprise that the network won't be distributing or confirming its own live-plus-same-day ratings any longer.
In a Wednesday note to the press, the cable network announced that it's the latest to jump on the growing trend of waiting for DVR and multiplatform stats before touting viewership. FX Networks had a similar move earlier in 2014 — and even broadcast networks are now leaning on time-shifting projections to soften the emphasis on live viewership.
"A single airing is no longer representative of an HBO show's true audience size," read a network statement. HBO also sees boosts from heavy encores on both the main network and its sisters. Now ratings will come roughly two weeks after a premiere telecast and will include Nielsen's live-plus-7, HBO Go and HBO On Demand. (The data won't exactly be a secret, as Nielsen will continue to release live-plus-same-day performances for HBO.)
HBO's most-watched show in network history currently doubles its audience with just a week's worth of viewership. Game of Thrones, averaging a live-plus-same-day audience just north of 7 million in its fourth season, pulled 18.4 million viewers per episode all told.
The news comes as HBO also readies a standalone streaming service, likely much akin to HBO Go, that will launch in 2015.