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Game of Thrones season 8 premiere shatters ratings record

Game of Thrones set a massive ratings record for its final season premiere.

The HBO hit delivered 17.4 million viewers on Sunday evening across multiple airings and including some streaming.

That makes the GoT season 8 premiere the biggest telecast in HBO’s history and the most-watched scripted entertainment program of the year (the prior record holder was CBS’ The Big Bang Theory with 14.1 million viewers on Feb. 7) — despite HBO being available in far fewer homes than the broadcast network.

The number surpasses the show’s previous overnight record of 16.9 million viewers for the season 7 finale two years ago. The show didn’t surge quite as much from the season 7 premiere (16.1 million) as one might have expected, however. But the record is despite HBO losing Dish subscribers in a contract dispute last December (which HBO believes impacted the numbers), and certain streaming partners (such as Amazon, Hulu, Roku) not being counted in this first-round number. By comparison, the finale of HBO’s The

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