The “Game of Thrones” prequel “House of the Dragon” was a streaming hit for HBO as the debut of the highly anticipated prequel drew twice the same-day viewership of Netflix’s hit series “Stranger Things,” according to newly released data.

“House of the Dragon” generated an audience of 2.6 million US households who tuned in to the premier episode on HBO and the HBO Max streaming service within the first six hours of its release on Sunday, according to the television analytics company Samba TV.

The combined viewership on linear television and streaming is the largest audience generated by a premier so far this year.

“Stranger Things,” the highly acclaimed sci-fi horror series, managed 1.2 million US households for its fourth season premier earlier this summer.

“The next challenge, and the real opportunity for HBO in the coming weeks, is to expand viewership beyond the passionate built-in fan base,” Samba TV CEO and co-founder Ashwin Navin said.

The "Game of Thrones" prequel generated a massive audience for its premier on Sunday.
The “Game of Thrones” prequel generated a massive audience for its premier on Sunday.
Courtesy of HBO

Samba’s data showed that “House of the Dragon” viewers tended to skew upper middle class.

Households that earned north of $125,000 a year made up 23% of opening night viewers while those with incomes that exceed $200,000 annually comprised 21% of viewers, according to Samba TV.

It is unknown just how much bigger the show’s initial viewership would have been if the HBO Max app didn’t crash.

The website outage service DownDetector reported around 3,000 blackouts between 8:40 p.m. and 9:25 p.m. Eastern time on Sunday evening.

In a statement to The Post, HBO said the crash only affected a “small portion of users.”

Netflix is also planning to produce a spin-off of "Stranger Things."
Netflix is also planning to produce a spin-off of “Stranger Things.”
Courtesy of Netflix

Exasperated fans who waited months for the prequel took to Twitter to complain about the outages.

But a spokesperson for HBO told The Hollywood Reporter that the problem likely affected viewers who tuned in through Amazon devices, namely its Fire TV stick.

Netflix, which has been hemorrhaging subscribers in the last year, is banking on its own spin-off of its hit series.

The streaming giant and “Stranger Things” creators the Duffer Brothers — Matt and Ross Duffer — announced earlier this year that they plan to create several film and television projects, including a spin-off.



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Tyler Cowan