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Saturday, Aug 17, 2019

Game of Thrones: Fourth episode was the show’s most watched ever, despite the leak

Game of Thrones’ fourth episode raked in a record 10.2 million views at its premiere despite the leak.

tv Updated: Aug 09, 2017 12:17 IST
HT Corresponent
HT Corresponent
Hindustan Times
The Spoils of War was leaked on Friday, three days before the official air date.
The Spoils of War was leaked on Friday, three days before the official air date.(HBO)

This proves that good things never go unappreciated. The fourth episode in the ongoing seventh season of Game of Thrones broke records for the most number of viewers in the show’s history despite being leaked three days before its release.

The Spoils of War drew in as many has 10.2 million viewers on the day of its release. The season opener, Dragonstone, held the previous record at 10.1 million viewers.

According to Entertainment Weekly, the number of views on the season premiere have reached 30 million in four weeks due to repeats, streaming and DVR playback.

A still from the recent episode of Game of Thrones.
A still from the recent episode of Game of Thrones.

The latest episode was expected to get far less audience as it was leaked online three days before the official premiere.

In a bizarre coincidence, hackers stole 1.5 terabytes of data from HBO, including material on Game of Thrones, which they threatened to leak periodically, but someone else beat them to it.

Before the hackers could carry out the threat, the episode was leaked online on Friday, three days before its official air date. The leak originated from Hotstar, the Indian streaming service where the show is aired ‘minutes after America’.

The file, which was being circulated on piracy websites, confirms that the episode is the season’s shortest yet. It lasts 50 minutes. Star India watermarks appear on the file.

A Star India spokesperson confirmed the leak: “This confirms the compromise of episode 4 of Game of Thrones Season 7, earlier this afternoon,” the spokesperson said. “We take this breach very seriously and have immediately initiated forensic investigations at our and the technology partner’s end to swiftly determine the cause. This is a grave issue and we are taking appropriate legal remedial action.”

That the episode managed to break records despite the leak makes one wonder how different the figures would have been if it hadn’t leaked at all.

Episode 5, Eastwatch, premieres on Monday. Stay tuned for our review.

Follow @htshowbiz for more

First Published: Aug 09, 2017 12:17 IST

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