It seems that not even a massive hack attack can beat the juggernaut that is Game of Thrones.
The fantasy series broke its best ever live-ratings record with its latest episode, "The Spoils of War". More than 10.2 million people tuned in to watch the show's latest outing when it aired 9 p.m. on Sunday in the United States. This happened despite the episode being leaked on the internet, proving that the fan base is more than willing to support the series.
Last season, the show would average an 8 million linear high among viewers, with its season finale "The Winds of Winter" posting the highest live ratings at 8.89 million. This record was broken by this season's premiere episode "Dragonstone" which had an average of 10.11 million.
"The Spoils of War" is not only the highest-rated live episode of Game of Thrones ever, it is also HBO's best among its original programming.
The live ratings do not take into account viewership into all platforms, which includes streaming in HBO Go, and repeat viewings on DVR. HBO has not yet released the figures for "Spoils of War" but if past episodes are anything to go by, last season posted an average of 25.7 million, while this seasons' premiere took in an impressive 26 million viewers!
The leaking of the latest episode though so far seems to have no connection with the recent massive HBO hack that happened earlier this month. But was instead taken from Star India's website, which has been handling the distribution of HBO content in India.
The people behind the cyber attack are holding HBO for ransom to prevent the release of materials associated with their shows including Game Of Thrones. This may or may not include the last three episodes of the series, and the hackers are demanding millions of dollars worth of Bitcoin.
HBO is coordinating with cyber security firms as well as law enforcement to help them resolve the issue. But despite the threat it, seems that the cable channel's crown jewel series' ratings has proven to be impervious to leaks.