'Game of Thrones' Season 8 Launch Ratings Set Record for U.K.'s Sky

Game of Thrones E801 - Still 10 - Publicity - H 2019
Courtesy of HBO

The pay TV giant aired a simulcast with HBO at 2 a.m. on Monday morning.

The first episode of the final season of Game of Thrones was not only smashing records in the U.S. 

In the U.K., the launch of season eight saw Comcast-owned pay TV giant Sky – which has an exclusive deal with HBO – land its biggest-ever overnight audience with 3.4 million viewers. The figure was split between 2.7 million who tuned in to watch the 2 a.m. simulcast with HBO (or recorded it) on Monday, and 698,000 who watched the repeat showing at 9 p.m. later that day. 

The overnight viewing numbers are 20 percent up from those for the launch of season seven, which would eventually amass a total audience of 4.97 million, Sky's biggest ever. 

A survey published over the weekend suggested that around 3.1 million Brits were considering calling in sick to work on Monday so they could stay up for the series premiere.

In the U.S., some 17.4 million tuned in to watch the season eight premiere.