HBO’s “Game of Thrones” returned to record ratings on Sunday.
6.6 million tuned in for the season 4 premiere, a series record for the show and HBO’s highest ratings since “The Sopranos” finale, which drew 11.9 million in 2007.
With an encore screening of the opener drawing in another 1.6 million viewers, the episode’s total viewership becomes 8.2 million.
“GOT’s” previous record was 5.5 million for a mid-season 3 episode. Across various platforms, season 3 boasted 14.4 million viewers per episode.
But legitimate ratings were not the only record being broken by the show’s season premiere.
Excipio, a piracy-tracking firm, identified 1.17 million unique IP addresses accessing torrents of the episode within the first 15 hours of it appearing online. This time last year, the season three premiere reached only 1.15 million within the first 24 hours.
Excipio also confirmed the United States as the main source of piracy with 198,000 IP addresses. Australia was not far behind with 187,000 and Canada came in third spot with 93,000.