'The Last Of Us' Viewership Continues To Take Off: Could Warner Bros Discovery Stock Also Soar? - Warner Bros. Discovery (NASDAQ:WBD)

One of the top streaming companies has had a massive hit new show in 2023. The show continues to gain viewers as it nears its first season finale, which could be good news for the company and shareholders.

What Happened: Even before episode one of “The Last of Us” premiered on HBO and HBO Max, critics had praised the video game adaptation and expectations were running high.

The series is an adaptation of a video game from Sony Group Corp SONY. HBO and HBO Max are owned by Warner Bros Discovery Inc WBD.

Episode one of “The Last of Us” had 4.7 million viewers, becoming the second biggest debut for the network, trailing only “House of the Dragon.”

The company later reported episode one had more than 10 million viewers when counting the premiere date and two days of availability, putting it ahead of “House of the Dragon.”

“After one full week of availability, Episode 1 is now tracking at 18 million viewers, up nearly 4x from its premiere night audience,” the company said.

The second episode of the series had 5.7 million viewers, marking the biggest increase between the first and second episodes of a new series for HBO.

Episode eight of “The Last of Us” showed that the series continued to gain viewers as it neared its season finale with episode nine. The eighth episode had 8.1 million viewers, a gain of 74% from the season premiere.

This made the latest episode the most watched in the series, according to Variety

The viewership figures from Warner Bros. tracks both the HBO cable channel and the HBO Max streaming platform for the premiere night viewers, not counting those who watched the episode days later.

The season finale will air on March 12 and could continue to climb in viewership. The episode is against the Academy Awards on ABC, which could hurt it, but also serve as a test of just how popular the show is.

Related Link: Pushing Rivalry Aside, Elon Musk And Jeff Bezos Agree On How Good This Streaming Show Is 

Why It’s Important: Along with strong viewership figures, “The Last of Us” has seen strong praise from critics and fans. On Rotten Tomatoes, the show has ratings of 96% and 89% from critics and viewers respectively.

The third episode of the series drew praise for the acting performance of Nick Offerman and even saw two of the biggest rivals in the world share praise for the show together.

“Episode 3 of Last of Us is unbelievably good story telling. I am in awe of Nick Offerman performance. Incredible,” Amazon founder Jeff Bezos tweeted.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who is often in a rivalry with Bezos, replied to the tweet that the series “The Last of Us” is a “Great game, great show.”

Warner Bros. has already announced the series has been renewed for a second season, giving it more runway on the success of the video game adaptation. The video game of the same name also saw increased attention, potentially helping Sony.

The streaming market is highly competitive and HBO Max has been one of the top players, but could now see further success. With hit shows like “House of the Dragon” and “The Last of Us” that dominate ratings, many people are fine paying the increased $15.99 per month cost per month for HBO Max.

Having hits shows across different quarters and seasons could also help lower churn.

Shares of Warner Bros. Discovery are up 55% year-to-date, beating gains of streaming rivals Netflix and Disney. The move could be related to shares of Warner Bros. Discovery falling significantly in 2022 or it could mirror the success of “The Last of Us,” which premiered on Jan. 15.

Read Next: It’s A Bird, It’s a Plane, Its DC Comics New Movies, TV Shows Announced 

Photo: Courtesy HBO

Image and article originally from www.benzinga.com. Read the original article here.