People are watching Game of Thrones 50% more often, and other quarantine facts

As the coronavirus continues to spread around the world (hopefully we’ll turn a corner soon, but we’ll see), people everywhere are spending a lot more time at home, foregoing work and getting to know an old friend named television.

It’s no shock at all that the planet’s current predicament has led to an increase in TV viewing. But exactly how big an increase? Cheryl Idell, the chief research officer for WarnerMedia Entertainment & Direct-to-Consumer, recently shared some numbers. Let’s take a look.

WarnerMedia owns a lot of networks, including HBO, TNT, TBS and TruTV. Here are some highlights from the report:

  • Obviously, a lot of people are streaming more these days. Viewership for HBO NOW, the network’s over-the-top platform, is up 40%.
  • And what shows are people watching? A little of everything. The audience for HBO’s Euphoria has doubled, while views for shows like Big Little Lies, Chernobyl, Game of Thrones and His Dark Materials have all risen by over 50%.
  • Classic HBO shows are seeing a bump, too. The audiences for Sex and the City and The Sopranos have doubled, while the audience for The Wire has tripled, which is great news, because as many people as possible should watch that show.
  • Overall, daily binge viewing of over three episodes of HBO shows increased 65% compared to the four weeks before this report was released.
  • Movie watching is way up, as well: 70%, in fact. People are taking in stuff like Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & ShawX-Men: Dark PhoenixArmageddonBlack Swan and Apocalypse Now.
  • Linear viewing is also up for normal TV channels, with TNT and TBS seeing the biggest gains from within the WarnerMedia network. Apparently, Friends and Impractical Jokers are pulling in a lot of people.
  • Funnily enough — or not funny at all, depending on how you look at it — people seem to be very interesting in movies about diseases spreading. Contagion, a 2011 movie about a terrifying pandemic (tagline: “Nothing spreads like fear”) was WarnerMedia’s top-ranked title for weeks. On HBO Now, the audience for Ebola: The Doctor’s Story was seven times greater than the weeks before, making it the most-watched documentary on the platform.

That last part is interesting. Does being involved in a global pandemic make people more or less likely to watch movies on the subject? I guess more, although I would have thought we’d want as escape from it.

In the U.S., overall TV viewing — that includes WarnerMedia stuff AND everything else — was up 20%, and it’s probably grown since then. Again, that’s not surprising at all. What are you watching in lockdown?

Next: Twenty-five sci-fi and fantasy shows worth watching in 2020

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h/t MediumThe Oregonian

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