HBO’s Game of Thrones prequel series House of the Dragon saw its viewership numbers plummet significantly following the release of the show’s third episode.
TV Series Finale, which reports on data from The Nielsen Company, reports that House of the Dragon’s episode three viewership fell nearly 23% from the show’s second episode, which is currently the highest viewed episode of the series.
The third episode’s viewership came in at 1.75 million. That’s down from 2.264 million from episode 2 and 2.170 million from the series premiere.
Not only was the viewership down significantly, but the demographic rating fell even sharper to .37. Episode 2 clocked in at .59 and the series premiere had a .55 rating.
To put this in perspective, the show’s numbers on HBO are slightly better than the first season of Superman & Lois on The CW. The series premiere for Superman & Lois brought in 1.745 million viewers with a rating of .37. The second episode declined to 1.238 million viewers and a rating of .27. The third episode saw a slight bump to 1.252 million viewers and a rating of .28.
The first season finished with average viewership of 990,000 per episode and a rating of .20.
These ratings from Nielsen don’t capture the entire picture of House of the Dragon’s viewership numbers as it does not include HBO Max subscribers, DVR, and On Demand views.
To elucidate this point WarnerMedia announced the show’s premiere episode had originally been seen by just shy of 10 million viewers across their linear, On Demand, and HBO Max platforms in the United States. That number has now allegedly grown to 20 million.
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Third party data tracker Samba TV claimed the House of the Dragon premiere was viewed by 2.6 million US households in its first six hours on both traditional linear TV and streaming.
The data company later revealed that the series had been viewed by 4.8 million households in its “first few days” after release. Samba TV has not released viewership data for the second and third episodes as of this writing.
Deadline also claims that the third episode brought in over “16 million viewers based on a combination of Nielsen and first party data.” They note that includes an increase of 27 percent on HBO Max compared to the second episode.
Needless to say trying to get a good grasp on the data is hard to come by given much of it is now hidden via the different streaming platforms. Nevertheless, a sharp decline of over 20% on HBO is not a good sign and could mean the show doesn’t have legs and people are already tuning out despite Deadline’s unsourced claim the show’s HBO Max viewership jumped 27%.
The third episode titled “Second of His Name” sees Matt Smith’s Daemon and Steve Tousssaint’s race-swapped Sea Snake battle Daniel Scott Smith’s the Crabfeeder. It also sees the realm celebrate Aegon’s second nameday and sees Milly Alcock’s Rhaenyra face the prospect of marriage.
New episodes of House of the Dragon air on Sundays at 9 PM ET.
What do you make of this sharp decline in viewership for House of the Dragon on HBO?