Will the Game of Thrones leak hurt the show’s ratings?


Now that Game of Thrones episode 704 “The Spoils of War” has been leaked online, we wonder if it will hurt the show’s ratings.

The internet has been afire with the news that Game of Thrones season 7, episode 4, “The Spoils of War” was leaked online. Earlier in the week, hackers claimed to have terabytes of information from HBO, which supposedly included episode 704.

In the end, it wasn’t the hackers who leaked the episode online, but rather, it was a mistake by HBO affiliate Star India. But, the internet never forgets, and despite any attempts made to remove the episode from multiple sharing sites, it is now out there for anyone to download and watch.

The question now remains: Will this leak hurt HBO’s and Game of Thrones‘ Sunday night ratings?

We don’t think so.

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Before season 5 aired, HBO sent the first four episodes of the season to the media for review, but someone leaked those four episodes to pirating sites, and before the season 5 premiere, a large portion of the fanbase had downloaded and watched them all.

But, according to Deadline, way back then, the season 5 leak didn’t even phase the show. Episode 501, “The Wars to Come,” garnered the show’s best ratings, coming in at 7.99 million viewers. For comparison, the season 7 premiere, “Dragonstone,” shattered the season 5 record by a country mile, at 16.1 million viewers.

So, if the first four episodes of the show’s fifth season being leaked online did not hurt its ratings, we seriously doubt the juggernaut that is Game of Thrones and HBO will hurt at all.

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Game of Thrones season 7, episode 4, “The Spoils of War,” will air Sunday night across all HBO platforms.