The Season 4 finale of HBO's Game of Thrones, entitled "The Children," nearly matched its ratings record from earlier this season but came up just short of the mark.
"The Children" amassed 7.1 million viewers, which marks a 32 percent increase from the Season 3 finale. But the figure just misses the show's all-time high of 7.2 million viewers, which it set multiple times during Season 4. "The Children" hauled in 9.3 million viewers with two repeats later in the night.
Game 5 of the NBA Finals between Tim Duncan's San Antonio Spurs and LeBron James' Miami Heat likely took some of the viewership away from Game of Thrones, as millions tuned in to watch Duncan earn his fifth ring and deny LeBron his third consecutive (and third overall).
Game of Thrones Season 4 had the largest audience for an HBO series in the network's history with an average of 18.6 million viewers across all platforms (live airings, HBO Go, etc.) and repeats, a 29 percent increase from Season 3.
The week before Memorial Day weekend in May, Game of Thrones posted its latest series high for the episode entitled "Mockingbird," which drew 7.2 million viewers in the 9 p.m. time slot. Including repeats, the show hauled in 8.5 million viewers, slightly less than its highest-rated installment. HBO's press release actually calls "Mockingbird" the most-watched episode in the series' run because it calculated the viewership to one more decimal point than usual.
The series has set or tied ratings records four times thus far in Season 4.
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