April 24, 2019
Viewership data for the final season of HBO’s hit fantasy drama “Game of Thrones” keeps growing.
Speaking on the April 24 fiscal call, AT&T CFO John Stephens said more than 27 million watched the premiere episode of season eight across all platforms, including subscription streaming video service HBO Now.
“Those numbers will show up in the second quarter customer accounts,” Stephens said.
HBO originally said 17.4 million people watched the episode on the pay-TV channel.
Stephens said the series helped HBO Now generate record new subscribers in the days before the premiere episode.
Meanwhile, AT&T said the $85 billion acquisition of Time Warner continues to positively affect the telecom’s bottom line.
New business unit WarnerMedia, which includes Warner Bros., HBO, Turner, AT&T’s regional sports network and Otter Media Holdings, reported first-quarter (ended March 31) operating income of more than $2.2 billion on revenue of more than $8.3 billion.
Warner Bros. saw operating income increase $164 million on revenue of $3.5 billion — the latter up from $3.2 billion in the previous-year period.
HBO saw operating income increase $32 million on revenue of $1.5 billion, down from revenue of $1.6 billion last year.
Turner saw operating income increase $82 million on revenue of $3.4 billion, down from revenue of $3.5 billion last year.
Finally, WarnerMedia confirmed an agreement with an affiliate of Related Companies to sell its office space at 30 Hudson Yards for about $2.2 billion.
The transaction is expected to close in late second-quarter 2019. AT&T will use proceeds from this transaction, along with additional planned sales of non-core assets, to reduce its $180 billion debt load following the Time Warner acquisition.
WarnerMedia earlier sold its 10% in Hulu to the Disney-controlled platform for $1.43 billion.
AT&T hopes to end fiscal 2019 with about $150 billion in debt.