The final season of Game of Thrones has finally ended leaving fans with tons of memories. While this show will be remembered for so many things, it has surely changed the fortunes of HBO in terms of money making.
With this article, we would like to share the finance part of GOT- how much it cost, how HBO marketed the show and how much the channel earnt from it.
HBO has revealed that they spent a total of $90 million on the production of Season 8, making it the most expensive TV show in the history. This cost is higher than Netflix’s most expensive production, The Crown, which was made at $10 million per episode.
The popularity of this show can be judged by the fact that in 2014, it became one of the most pirated shows around the world. People outside the US began downloading the show from unauthorized sources to watch the episodes before the spoilers.
Social media gave the show free promotion with people talking about it on their walls and groups sharing news and memes related to the show. This made HBO more popular than ever with 170 deals with markets around the world to air new episodes simultaneously with its US broadcast in 2015. A large part of the show’s earning began coming in through these international rights.
Each year, GoT’s viewerships saw great growth. “Season 8 of Game of Thrones is averaging at around 43 million viewers per episode in gross audience, an increase of more than 10 million viewers when compared to season 7,” HBO said in a statement.
GoT franchise is worth over $1 billion, getting over 30 million viewers per episode in the US alone, according to the New York Times.
HBO’s money-making strategy was very different from other TV shows. It was not mainly dependent on advertising. HBO made people subscribe and pay $10 to $15 a month. This has generated millions of revenue for the channel so far.
According to reports, around 30-40 million people subscribed to HBO in 2017, making the monthly income OF HBO around $300 million (around Rs 2100 crore) to $400 million (Rs 2800 crore). Note that, this is only the subscription income.
HBO generated profits of $6 billion (around Rs 4182 crore) between 2015 and 2018 and a large portion of this was made due to the popularity of Game of Thrones.
View this post on Instagram
A post shared by OREO (@oreo) on
In addition to subscription fees, GoT made money by merchandising and tieing contracts with brands including Oreo. From weapons and armour to jewelry, dolls, beer, and clothes, HBO has all the rights of GoT’s merchandise but the counterfeit market has always been a problem for GoT’s merchandise.