HBO suffers huge ratings drop in post-‘Game Of Thrones’ era

People watched a lot of news instead

HBO saw more than half of its adult 18-49 linear audience disappear last year – months on from the conclusion to Game Of Thrones in 2019.

Linear viewing (i.e. watching shows at scheduled times) on the US premium network saw an overall demographic drop of 38 percent. Other US networks including Starz, which homes programmes including Power, and Showtime (Homeland), were also hit with declines of 16 percent and 19 percent respectively.

Variety reports that it was not all bad news for linear viewing, however. Cable news networks including CBS, NBC, ABC and Fox were high up on the list owing to big stories in 2020 – from the coronavirus pandemic to the US presidential election. Fox News Channel reported a 43 per cent increase in viewing figures.


The 50 top-rated networks of 2020 by adults in the 18-49 age range shows that HBO suffered a 52 per cent drop. Variety adds that TLC’s 90 Day Fiancé was largely responsible for securing the cable network’s most-watched year ever (16 per cent increase).

You can see the full, ranked list here.

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau starring as Jaime Lannister in ‘Game of Thrones’. CREDIT: AA Film Archive / Alamy Stock Photo

In Game Of Thrones news, actress Naomi Watts has spoken of the “pain” felt after the cancellation of the prequel show she was set to star in.

The actress was due to star in a HBO series taking place thousands of years before the events of Game Of Thrones, before it was cancelled in 2019.

Watts was going to perform alongside Josh Whitehouse in a project from showrunner Jane Goldman, and had finished shooting the pilot episode in 2019 in Northern Ireland.


“I’m sorry,” Watts said of the news, addressing fans for “I feel your pain. I equally got into it. I wasn’t a huge fan and hadn’t seen the shows until I was hired and then completely binged everything within the space of a couple of months and it’s just wonderful.”

She added: “It’s a deep shame, it would have been great fun. But I am not allowed to give anything away I’m afraid.”