"Game of Thrones" season 6 episode 1 has broken the show's previous viewership record. However, it still comes with not-so-good news for the series.
TIME reported that "Game of Thrones" season 6 episode 1, "The Red Woman," broke the overall audience record with 10.7 million viewers. People tuned into the latest installment of the series by watching it live or through streaming services over the weekend.
However, the bad news is that the number of viewers who watched the series live has dropped for the first time in "GoT" history. It is still one of the most popular shows and its overall viewership has also gone up 9 percent from "Game of Thrones" season 5 episode 1.
According to EW, the 10.7 million viewers of "Game of Thrones" season 6 episode 1 includes the number of those who watched the on-air premiere as well as those from HBO Go and HBO Now. It does not count the audience who tuned into the premiere as part of HBO's free preview weekend.
The publication noted, though, that the show's 9 p.m. premiere (with 7.9 million viewers) had a 1 percent drop from last year. Adding in the first two repeats (with 758,000 and 205,000, respectively), the difference goes up to 4 percent.
"As a whole, HBO has seen some subscribers migrate from the traditional cable and satellite package to their streaming services," EW wrote. Hopefully, though, "Game of Thrones" season 6 may surpass season 5's average of 20 million viewers per episode.
In the U.K., "GoT" had 2.2 million viewers for the season 6 premiere. This was deemed as "particularly impressive" since the series debuted at 2 a.m. local time.
Torrent Freak added that "GoT" has sparked a "piracy craze." The website reported that about 200,000 BitTorrent users "are actively sharing copies" of "Game of Thrones" season 6 episode 1. The first pirated copies were posted online shortly after it was officially aired.