Apr 16, 2019

Final season of "Game of Thrones" marks decline of appointment TV

Two men dressed up as White Walkers at a "Game of Thrones" premiere. Photo: Mohssen Assanimoghaddam/picture alliance via Getty Images

"Game of Thrones" Season 8 premiere Sunday drew a massive 17.4 million viewers, according to HBO, beating out the show's previous record of 16.9 million viewers for the show's final episode of its seventh season.

Why it matters: One of the last remaining shows that kept appointment TV viewing culture alive is nearing its end.

  • Now that HBO is being rolled up into the core of AT&T's streaming strategy, it's unclear how AT&T will roll out its programming schedule.
  • And we still don't know Disney's release strategy, although reports began to pop Monday that "The Mandalorian," a space-drama series being created for Disney+, will be released weekly starting in November

The bottom line: Thrones fans waited nearly two years for the show's season finale. It remains to be seen if HBO, under its new corporate AT&T structure, will be able to create that type of anticipation again for WarnerMedia's streaming service.

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The cost of going after Bloomberg

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Here's the growing dilemma for 2020 Democrats vying for a one-on-one showdown with frontrunner Bernie Sanders: Do they have the guts — and the money — to first stop Mike Bloomberg?

Why it matters: Joe Biden, Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar and Elizabeth Warren all must weigh the costs of punching Bloomberg where he looks most vulnerable: stop-and-frisk, charges of sexism, billionaire entitlement. The more zealous the attacks, the greater the risk he turns his campaign ATM against them.

How Trump’s economy stacks up

Source: "Presidents and US Economy", Trump figures through 2019 courtesy of Alan Blinder; Note: Data shows real GDP and Q1 growth in each term is attributed to the previous president; Chart: Axios Visuals

Average economic growth under President Trump has outpaced the growth under Barack Obama, but not all of his recent predecessors.

Why it matters: GDP is the most comprehensive economic scorecard — and something presidents, especially Trump, use as an example of success. And it's especially relevant since Trump is running for re-election on his economic record.

Coronavirus cases rise as 14 American evacuees infected

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's NHC; Note: China refers to mainland China and the Diamond Princess is the cruise ship offshore Yokohama, Japan. Map: Danielle Alberti/Axios

14 Americans evacuated from the Diamond Princess cruise ship tested positive for the novel coronavirus before being flown in a "specialist containment" on a plane repatriating U.S. citizens back home, the U.S. government said early Monday.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed at least 1,770 people and infected almost 70,000 others. Most cases and all but five of the deaths have occurred in mainland China. Taiwan confirmed its first death on Sunday, per multiple reports, in a 61-year-old man with underlying health conditions. Health officials were investigating how he became ill.

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