Game of Thrones sets ratings record for Sky Atlantic
The season five premiere of Game of Thrones has set a new ratings record for Sky Atlantic, with 1.57 million viewers - a 6.7% share of the audience.
Monday night's opener was just behind Channel 4 and beat terrestrial channels BBC Two and Channel 5 in the ratings.
BBC Two's Inside Harley Street drew 1.3 million (5.8%) while Gotham attracted 800,000 (3.4%) to Channel 5.
The eagerly-awaited return of HBO fantasy drama Game of Thrones was up 29% on last year's season four launch.
That 2014 episode was seen by 1.2 million viewers, across both an overnight simulcast with the US and a 21:00 BST repeat, indicating how the once cult show has increased in popularity to become a mainstream hit.
The season five premiere delivered Sky Atlantic's best overnight audience figures to date, just behind Channel 4's Skint, which was seen by 1.6 million people - a 6.9% of the audience.
Overnight figures show ITV drama Code of a Killer was Monday night's most-watched programme in the 21:00 to 22:00 BST timeslot, securing 4.5 million viewers and a 21% audience share, while BBC One's Masterchef was seen by 4.3 million (18.4%).
However Sky Atlantic said it was the top programme in multi-channel homes.
The satellite broadcaster has an exclusive deal with HBO to air its new programmes in the UK with Girls, True Detective, The Following and Looking among its other US imports.
Sky Atlantic broadcast several Game of Thrones-themed shows in the run-up to the season five premiere.
It was also followed by Thronecast: The Official Game of Thrones Fan Show hosted by Sue Perkins and Jamie East, which was watched by 307,000 viewers.
Consolidated viewing figures for the premiere will be available in the next seven days, which will take into account all viewing on catch-up services.