HBO’s surprise streaming strategy for the second episode of “Westworld” helped the freshman sci-fi drama to a solid ratings performance in a competitive TV weekend.
According to HBO, 2.7 million viewers watched episode two over the weekend across cable and digital platforms. That’s down 18% from the number who watched the premiere a week earlier on Sept. 2, but still strong considering that the initial linear telecast of the new episode went head-to-head with the second presidential debate and “Sunday Night Football.”
To combat the ratings hit the show was likely to take, HBO made the episode available to watch two days early on streaming platforms HBO Now and HBO Go — a strategy it had not employed for the premiere and did not announce beforehand. The episode reached 1.9 million viewers across two television plays Sunday and 800,000 on digital.
HBO also premiered two new comedies on Sunday, “Divorce” and “Insecure,” with the former drawing 1 million viewers and the latter drawing 1.1 million. “Divorce,” starring Sarah Jessica Parker, drew 723,000 total viewers across two plays on the premium cable channel Sunday, and 250,000 via digital. “Insecure,” starring Issa Rae, drew 558,000 from two linear plays, and 601,000 from digital, where it had been available to view for the last two weeks leading up to the premiere.