clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

This is how the ‘Game of Thrones’ budget and audience compare with other big network blockbusters

The HBO series averaged 25.7 million viewers last season, with 26 percent of those views from HBO Go and HBO Now.

Rani Molla is a senior correspondent at Vox and has been focusing her reporting on the future of work. She has covered business and technology for more than a decade — often in charts — including at Bloomberg and the Wall Street Journal.

“Game of Thrones” is a big deal for the media industry, in the sense that the show is bigger than just itself. A bona fide Media Industrial Complex has built up around commenting on and recapping the weekly HBO drama, leading to unknown sums of indirect revenue.

It’s also not so shabby on its own.

“Thrones” had on average 25.7 million viewers last season according to HBO, which says 26 percent of those views come from HBO Go and HBO Now, the company’s online streaming services.

The show has the same budget — $10 million per episode last season — as “The Big Bang Theory,” which had 19 million viewers on average last year, according to Nielsen data, which measures TV and DVR viewing within seven days of airing (a different measurement than HBO’s).

For more context, it costs TV networks about $310 million to produce and get the rights to the Super Bowl, which had about 112 million viewers this year, according to Nielsen.

Here’s how “Game of Thrones” compares to other visual spectacles in audience and budget:

Rani Molla / Recode

Watch: Game of Thrones is secretly about climate change

This article originally appeared on

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for Vox Recommends

Get curated picks of the best Vox journalism to read, watch, and listen to every week, from our editors.