StashLearn
Get the app
Get the app

Join millions of investors on Stash

Investing, simplified

Start today with as little as $5
Get the app
Life

How Much Will HBO Make from ‘Game of Thrones’ Season 8?

April 12, 2019

3 min read

If you’re like millions of people around the world, you’ll be tuning in for the final season of “Game of Thrones” (GoT) this month.

Fans of the series have been watching the growing threat of the White Walkers as the battle for the Iron Throne heats up. Will Daenerys and Jon Snow prevail with their dragon glass against the Night King and his zombie army? Can Arya and Sansa continue to collaborate without killing each other? Will Cersei consolidate power in King’s Landing?

While we ponder those very important questions, here’s something else to keep in mind: “Game of Thrones” is a huge money maker for HBO and its former parent company Time Warner, acquired by AT&T for $85 billion in 2018. Not only is GoT the most-watched show in HBO history, but the GoT franchise is also worth over $1 billion, commanding nearly 30 million viewers per episode in the U.S. alone, according to the New York Times.

And viewership for season eight is expected to be more massive than the Wall—in no small part because HBO shelled out a staggering $15 million per episode for the six-part series, each episode the length of a feature film.

+$0B
GoT franchise worth
0M
Viewers per episode in the U.S.
0M
Amount HBO pays out per episode

How does HBO make money?

HBO doesn’t rely on advertising, the way traditional television networks do. Instead, it depends on people paying $10 to $15 a month for cable and streaming subscriptions. Does that work? It seems so. HBO produced profits of $6 billion between 2015 and 2018, according to reports.

(HBO also spends billions of dollars each year, working with top producers to create cutting edge content, which helps it to add subscribers. In fact, in 2018, HBO broke its own record for new subscribers in 2017.)

Since HBO doesn’t use the traditional advertising model, it’s less concerned about what it makes when a new episode first airs. It’s more about how much it makes all year, and the year after that, even with the hugely popular Game of Thrones.

For example, HBO has sales from DVDs for its shows and various online products, which has also become a way for HBO to market to consumers around the world, according to experts.

The ‘Game of Thrones’ effect

Just the same, “Game of Thrones” is a huge part of HBO’s most recent success.

In 2014, GoT surpassed “The Sopranos”, HBO’s hit mafia-inspired show, as the network’s most popular series. And between subscriptions, merchandising, and the international market, “Game of Thrones” makes a significant contribution to HBO’s revenue.

In fact, over the decade, it has helped HBO add an impressive 50 million subscribers, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

Although the number of viewers of a series like “Game of Thrones” can start to resemble major sporting events such as the Super Bowl, there are some important differences.

Unlike the Super Bowl, “Game of Thrones” isn’t necessarily meant to be consumed on a single night. If you miss the big game, you miss it—you know who’s won, and your family and friends have already eaten the guacamole.

GoT is a cultural phenomenon, and viewership can extend from its peak on Sunday evenings in North America, to other time zones around the world—regardless of spoilers.

And for HBO, it’s not about when you watch #GOT, it’s just about watching—now, or years from now. So, while Sunday night’s ‘Game of Thrones’ might not be raking in the dollars based on viewership alone in the way that traditional network TV events do, it contributes to HBO’s bottom line.

Winter is coming...Tell your friends!

Get $5 for every friend you refer to Stash.

Get the App

Winter is coming...Tell your friends!

Get $5 for every friend you refer to Stash.

Get the App

Night gathers, and now my watch begins.

Start today with as little as $5.

Get the App

By Stash Team

*Just as a Lannister always pays his debts, this material is not intended as actual advice. Game of Thrones is a registered trademark™ of Home Box Office, Inc. Stash is not affiliated with Game of Thrones of Home Box Office, Inc.
Next for you
Sex! Blood! Dragons! Money? (GoT is Here)

Investment Profile

Bonds Worldwide

An International Bond ETF on Stash

Learn more
Explore more articlesChoose a topic to learn more about
Technology politics Careers Retirement love and money
Disclaimers

This material has been distributed for informational and educational purposes only, represents an assessment of the market environment as of the date of publication, is subject to change without notice, and is not intended as investment, legal, accounting, or tax advice or opinion. Stash assumes no obligation to provide notifications of changes in any factors that could affect the information provided. This information should not be relied upon by the reader as research or investment advice regarding any issuer or security in particular. The strategies discussed are strictly for illustrative and educational purposes and should not be construed as a recommendation to purchase or sell, or an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy any security. There is no guarantee that any strategies discussed will be effective.

Furthermore, the information presented does not take into consideration commissions, tax implications, or other transactional costs, which may significantly affect the economic consequences of a given strategy or investment decision. This information is not intended as a recommendation to invest in any particular asset class or strategy or as a promise of future performance. There is no guarantee that any investment strategy will work under all market conditions or is suitable for all investors. Each investor should evaluate their ability to invest long term, especially during periods of downturn in the market. Investors should not substitute these materials for professional services, and should seek advice from an independent advisor before acting on any information presented. Before investing, please carefully consider your willingness to take on risk and your financial ability to afford investment losses when deciding how much individual security exposure to have in your investment portfolio.

Past performance does not guarantee future results. There is a potential for loss as well as gain in investing. Stash does not represent in any manner that the circumstances described herein will result in any particular outcome. While the data and analysis Stash uses from third party sources is believed to be reliable, Stash does not guarantee the accuracy of such information. Nothing in this article should be considered as a solicitation or offer, or recommendation, to buy or sell any particular security or investment product or to engage in any investment strategy. No part of this material may be reproduced in any form, or referred to in any other publication, without express written permission. Stash does not provide personalized financial planning to investors, such as estate, tax, or retirement planning. Investment advisory services are only provided to investors who become Stash Clients pursuant to a written Advisory Agreement. For more information please visit www.stashinvest.com/disclosures.