Perhaps recognizing that the vast majority of people who watch HBO shows do so with the use of a family member’s HBO GO password, the cable network has announced that it will no longer be releasing regular ratings information anymore. This comes from Entertainment Weekly, which notes that a typical Game Of Thrones episode got 6.6 million viewers on its initial airing, but when DVR numbers, repeat airings, and streaming services are included, the number jumps to 19.1 million. The idea, presumably, is that HBO doesn’t really need to bother with the numbers for the day something aired since it doesn’t have to attract advertisers or anything, and by only talking about the crazy huge ratings—like, say, 19.1 million people for an episode of Game Of Thrones—it makes itself sound a lot more popular and attractive to prospective subscribers.
Interestingly, EW notes that this move is “more symbolic than impactful,” since Nielsen data will still be collected and released for HBO shows, which means everyone will know how many people watched Game Of Thrones on Sunday night anyway. As HBO keeps moving toward a model that allows people to give it money without a cable subscription, though, slightly fudged ratings numbers like this could actually become more and more important. Either way, at least we’ll know that tons of people watch Game Of Thrones.