At first glance, the matter seems clear: “The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power” was watched significantly more than “House Of The Dragon”. This is suggested by figures from the streaming specialist Nielsen for the period from August 29 to September 4, 2022. During this time “The Rings of Power” in the USA namely a total of 1.25 billion minutes watched for a long time (1st place), while “House Of The Dragon” with “only” 781 million minutes landed in 5th place.
In addition: “The Rings of Power” started on September 1st or 2nd, 2022 (depending on the time zone) with a double episode and therefore collected these 1.25 billion minutes of watchtime in just three days. “House Of The Dragon”, on the other hand, started on August 21st and has already released three episodes in the same period.
The different number of episodes alone makes it difficult to compare “The Rings of Power” and “House Of The Dragon”., but could still be taken as another argument for the Amazon Prime Video series’ triumph over HBO production (after all, it was watched more despite fewer episodes). But that brings us to the much bigger problem with the comparison:
Nielsen really only takes streaming into account in the figures, but “House Of The Dragon” also runs in the USA on the pay-TV channel HBO – and that makes a real difference. Like the US industry magazine Variety writes, about 3.2 million out of a total of 9.9 million US households watched the first episode “House Of The Dragon” on television, which is almost exactly a third. And those 3.2 million people are missing from the Nielsen numbers.
Nevertheless, it should be enough for a victory of “The Rings of Power” overall, even if one were to add the watched minutes from linear television. Much more interesting and more importantly, the Nielsen numbers allow for the first time ever an assessment of the success or failure of The Rings of Powerwhich is not based on the unusable figures from Amazon itself.
And in this regard, too, it can be said that the “Lord of the Rings” series is a great success for Amazon and that the investment of a total of one billion dollars (for the rights and a total of five seasons) should pay off.