The season 6 premiere of Game of Thrones has shattered Australian subscription television records. The return of fantasy drama series broke ratings records for Foxtel on Monday night.

Game of Thrones became the most watched program in Australian subscription TV history.

Yesterday’s episode was seen by a huge 727,000 viewers across the country. It was a massive 31 percent jump from season five’s 553,000.

Game of Thrones was averaging 396,000 national viewers for its prime-time screening on Monday. The show recorded the largest single-day audience in the 21-year history of the Foxtel platform.

It is expected that the audience will jump well ahead of one million viewers in combined figures for rest of the week, says The Australian.

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Yesterday’s season premiere surpasses Foxtel’s previous best audience 719,000 for the All Blacks and Wallabies Rugby World Cup semi-final in 2011.

“This marks the most-watched series premiere in Australian subscription television history,” a Foxtel spokesperson said.

“This is an absolutely incredible result and beyond our expectations,” said Foxtel’s executive director of television, Brian Walsh.

“It doesn’t yet include all of the catch-up viewing from the Foxtel iQ, which will count when we calculate the cumulative audience for the week.”

According to him when those figures are included along with encores across the week, the first episode will “absolutely top over 1 million viewers.”

Walsh believes that it will be an extraordinary result by any measure.

It was also reported that Australians were also leading the list for illegal downloading of “The Red Woman” episode.

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There were reports that more than 1 million people globally had illegally downloaded the Game of Thrones episode within 24 hours of its telecast.

According to News Corp, this exceptional figure shows that the number of people who “legally watched the series” on Foxtel far outran the ones “who took the illegal route.”

On an international level, fans had been waiting more than 10 months for the sixth season. Game of Thrones had a collective audience of 900,000 per episode last year.