'Game of Thrones' Season 6 Premiere Sets Ratings Record for U.K.'s Sky Atlantic

Game of Thrones 601 Still 5 - H 2016
Courtesy of HBO

It drew nearly 1.4 million viewers for a 2 a.m. simulcast and 816,000 additional viewers in its regular 9 p.m. slot.

The season six premiere of Game of Thrones set a new audience record for pay TV giant Sky's Sky Atlantic network in the U.K.

The season opener drew nearly 1.38 million viewers for the 2 a.m. London time simulcast of the U.S. premiere on HBO, according to data from Sky and Overnights.tv. The 9 p.m. regular airing reached an additional 816,000 viewers for a total audience of 2.19 million.

That combined viewership was Sky Atlantic’s biggest overnight audience ever for an episode of the show and the network's biggest overnight audience ever. The season five opener last year attracted 1.57 million live viewers at 9 p.m.; the network didn't offer a simulcast then.

Overnights.tv in a tweet said that only 4 percent of the viewers registered for the 2 a.m. showing watched the season opener live. Experts say the overnight audience could in the seven-day consolidated U.K. viewing figures well increase by around 70 percent to 3.7 million-plus.

Sky says millions of people have taken advantage of catching up on the show’s previous seasons, with 7.1 million downloads of box sets of seasons one through five and 2.3 million views the on Sky Go app over the past six weeks.

Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox owns a 39 percent stake in Sky.