HBO’s worldwide subscriber base had risen steadily from 2010 to 2014, when it peaked at 138 million subscribers. In 2017, HBO had 142 million subscribers worldwide, with just under a third of those subscribers residing in the United States, demonstrating HBO’s popularity both domestically and overseas. According to a 2017 survey, 31% of respondents in the United States reported that they subscribed to the network.
The number of weekly viewers of HBO in the United States increased from 677 million in 2016 to 726 million in 2017. As a result of the growing viewership figures, HBO’s annual subscription revenue has risen from approximately 3.77 billion U.S. dollars in 2011 to 5.54 billion U.S. dollars in 2017. Additionally, HBO headed the list of cable TV channels that U.S. consumers were willing to pay the most for in the fourth quarter of 2017.
Much of this popularity can be attributed to the variety of original programming that has helped HBO distinguish itself from other subscription television networks on the air. Perhaps the most well-known series currently on HBO is Game of Thrones, based on a series of fantasy novels by George R.R. Martin, which is due to air its eighth and final season in 2019. Since the show's inception in 2011, the number of viewers per episode has risen from 2.51 million in Season 1 to 7.72 million in Season 6. The number of viewers of the season 7 finale in 2017 reached approximately 12.1 million, nearly five times the number of viewers per episode for season 1. .