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Game of Thrones returned to Sky Atlantic on April 13th with a record audience of nearly 1.6 million viewers.
The eagerly anticipated fifth season of the HBO fantasy drama hit had 1.57 million viewers for its premiere episode, a 6.7 per cent share of the audience from 9pm on Monday, despite the first 4 episodes of the new season leaking online the day before.
It was a mammoth audience for Sky Atlantic – 43 times its slot average over the last three months.
The figures put the pay-TV channel ahead of two of the five mainstream channels, including BBC2, which had 1.3 million viewers for new documentary series Inside Harley Street, and Channel 5’s Gotham, watched by 802,000 viewers.
Game of Thrones had more than twice the 675,000 viewers for the equivalent broadcast of the opening episode last year. However, the fourth series opener also had an early morning simulcast, giving it a total first day audience of 1.2 million.