HBO Max's 'House of the Dragon' premiere reels in 10M viewers

HBO Max’s “House of the Dragon” is front and center across linear and streaming platforms, drawing nearly 10 million U.S. viewers on its August 21 premiere.

The “Game of Thrones” prequel debut also marks HBO Max’s largest series launch across the U.S., Latin America and EMEA, according to Warner Bros. Discovery (WBD). The company noted “House of the Dragon” garnered the largest premiere audience for any HBO original series to-date.

“It was wonderful to see millions of ‘Game of Thrones’ fans return with us to Westeros last night. ‘House of the Dragon’ features an incredibly talented cast and crew who poured their heart and soul into the production, and we’re ecstatic with viewers’ positive response,” stated Casey Bloys, chief content officer at HBO and HBO Max.

The series also drew significant eyeballs in the U.K. Comcast-owned Sky saw 1.39 million watchers tune into the first episode on the Sky Atlantic pay TV channel, per The Hollywood Reporter.

In anticipation of the “House of the Dragon” premiere, Roku on Friday added a home menu hub for the show, as part of a promotional collaboration with HBO Max. One of the hub’s features is a 15-minute video recap of the “Game of Thrones” series.

Speaking of “Game of Thrones,” WBD said the original series just capped off a seven-week stretch of engagement growth – with weekly August viewer engagement up nearly 90% from that of June and July.

While HBO Max boosts visibility for “House of the Dragon,” it’s been winding down on other original content to save costs. The service announced in July it will halt original production in several European countries, including the Nordics, the Netherlands and Turkey.

And last week, HBO Max told NPR it’s cutting 36 additional titles from its catalog. WBD is slimming down on content from both HBO Max and Discovery+, as it plans to combine the two platforms into one streaming service next year.

HBO Max promoting “House of the Dragon” is just one instance of streamers trying to reel in viewers with high-profile franchises. Disney is looking to snag the streaming rights for “Doctor Who” to complement its collection of “Marvel” and “Star Wars” content.

While Amazon Prime Video is releasing a prequel series of its own, “The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power.” The prequel to the movie trilogy is set to premiere on September 2.