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'Game of Thrones' starts Season 3 with series-high numbers
HBO return narrowly tops last summer's finale
After months of build-up, plus DVD and YouTube records, HBO's "Game of Thrones" returned on Sunday (March 31) night to series-record numbers.
It should be noted that facing the "Walking Dead" finale on AMC, "Game of Thrones" didn't exactly obliterate its previous highs, but with 4.4 million viewers, the premiere topped the Season 2 finale by 4 percent in its first airing.
The "Game of Thrones" premiere was also up 13 percent over last spring's premiere, which drew 3.9 million viewers.
Adding in two subsequent plays, the "Game of Thrones" premiere drew 6.7 million viewers on its first full night, up by 7 percent over last spring's premiere night.
For a perspective on how much of the show's audience is generated outside of initial airings, HBO says that including linear plays, OnDemand and HBOGo, the second season of "Game of Thrones" averaged 11.6 million viewers.