Game of Thrones delivered more big viewing numbers for the second episode of its final season — although not quite as massive as its premiere.
Nielsen figures show 10.29 million people tuning in to initial airing of Sunday’s episode, “A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms.” The linear audience is down 12.5 percent from the premiere’s 11.76 million. That’s more or less in line with second-episode declines for each of the past three seasons, which have declined by an average of 10.5 percent from their premieres.
The 10.29 million people is the fourth-largest initial audience in the show’s history, behind the season seven finale (12.07 million), the final-season premiere and season seven’s fifth episode (10.72 million).
The April 14 episode totaled 17.4 million first-night viewers including streaming, a record for Game of Thrones. HBO says streaming on HBO Now rose by 50 percent compared to the season seven finale, more than making up for the slight decline in on-air viewing.
The linear ratings topped everything else on broadcast or cable Sunday night by a sizable margin. The next most-watched show, CBS’ 60 Minutes, trailed Game of Thrones by about 1.8 million viewers.
Early streaming figures for Game of Thrones weren’t released as of publication time. This post will be updated when they become available.