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"Game of Thrones" Passes "Sopranos" As HBO's Most Popular Show Ever

Time Warner's (NYSE: TWX  ) HBO confirmed that total viewership for this season of Game of Thrones (18.4 million per episode) passed the 2002 season of The Sopranos (18.2 million)making it the network's most popular show ever. Given what an absolute cultural phenomenon The Sopranos was, that's pretty impressive.

But The Sopranos was the product of a different television era, with DVRs, on-demand, and online streaming viewing still largely futuristic talking points. At the time, its audience skewed heavily toward first-run broadcasts. In an era where Netflix  (NASDAQ: NFLX  ) and (NASDAQ: AMZN  ) are just as much rivals to HBO as Showtime or Starz, the way we watch television across the past 12 years has changed dramatically. The percentage of people who watch Game of Thrones as first-run TV on Sunday night is relatively low compared with its total audience size, but lots of on-demand, DVR, and online viewings have pushed the series to the top..

In this episode of The Next, Motley Fool tech analyst Eric Bleeker and Rule Breakers analyst Simon Erickson talk about how multiple viewing platforms is shaping viewing habits, as well as how production of original programming is changing in an era where between cable, premium channels like Time Warner's HBO, and online subscription products like Netflix and Amazon Prime, consumers have more choice than ever. 

Your cable company is scared, but you can get rich
You know cable as we know it today is going away. The number of cord-cutters is growing, and dominant tech companies like Amazon and Netflix are moving into the battle for the living room. But do you know how to profit? There's $2.2 trillion out there to be had. Currently, cable grabs a big piece of it. That won't last. And when cable falters, three companies are poised to benefit. Click here for their names. Hint: They're not Netflix, Google, and Apple


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Eric Bleeker

Eric started at The Motley Fool in 2008 working in the Tech & Telecom sector. Today, he's the General Manager of You can follow him on Twitter to stay up to date with his tech industry analysis.

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