'Game of Thrones' hits a new ratings high with season 8 premiere

HBO has largest night of streaming ever

The season eight premiere of "Game of Thrones" brought in a series record 17.4 million viewers on Sunday night, according to HBO.

That includes 11.8 million television viewers who watched the popular fantasy drama on HBO at 9 p.m. Sunday night. The rest were viewers who watched two encore presentations, combined with those who streamed the show with the HBO Go or HBO Now apps. It had the "largest night of streaming activity ever for HBO," according to the network.

The previous record for the show was the season seven finale, which nabbed 16.9 million viewers in August 2017. Viewership for Sunday's premiere was up more than a million viewers from the season seven premiere in 2017.

"Thrones" has become a TV blockbuster at a time when there's immense competition from streaming services and social media. The show gets a boost from delayed viewing, but its multiple storylines and spoilers make it ideal for appointment viewing, one of the few things left besides sports that is.

Entertainment Headlines

Entertainment Galleries

Coachella 2019 kicks off
2019 Getty Images
David Letterman through the years
David Livingston/Getty Images
Country music's hottest divas
Kevin Winter/Getty Images
Notable deaths of 2019
Shutterstock via CNN
Coachella 2018
Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for Coachella