'Black Sails' Debut Draws 3.5 Million Total Viewers

Categories: Network TV Press Releases

Written By

January 27th, 2014


via press release:



Brings Bounty of 3.5 Million Viewers and Counting


Estimated 2.6 Million Viewers Watched Opening Weekend
Additional 900,000 Views and Counting from Multiplatform Audience


Beverly Hills, Calif. – January 27, 2014 –  “Black Sails” has become the most widely watched new series debut in the history of STARZ original programming, following its opening weekend on Saturday, January 25.

More than 2.6 Million viewers watched the series premiere Live+Same Day (Live+SD) during its opening weekend on the network’s linear channels

o   Surpassed “The White Queen” premiere weekend (approximately 2.6 Million viewers), which had been the highest new series/miniseries premiere to-date, making this the highest STARZ series premiere weekend ever

o   Nearly 1.7 Million Live+SD total viewers watched the combined Saturday telecasts, making this the
best STARZ new series premiere night ever

o   Nearly 850,000 Live+SD viewers for series premiere at 9PM ET/PT


Additionally, STARZ launched a wide, week-long sampling campaign with strong results to date:

o   Early reporting of on-demand, online platforms and affiliate linear airings yielded an additional 900,000 viewers to-date and thus 3.5 million viewers and counting

*Viewership for additional multiplex repeats, extended DVR, and complete STARZ ON DEMAND, Free On Demand, STARZ PLAY, and other online platforms are not included.  More results available later this week.

(SOURCES: Nielsen Npower P2+ Live+SD data. Sampling results based on internal estimates of subscription and free On Demand, on-line as well as affiliate linear viewing.  Subject to further qualifications available upon request.)


New episodes of “Black Sails” air 9PM ET/PT exclusively on STARZ.

About “Black Sails”
The eight-episode first season of “Black Sails” centers on the tales of Captain Flint (Toby Stephens) and his men, and takes place twenty years prior to Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic “Treasure Island.” “Black Sails” is executive produced by Michael Bay (Transformers, Armageddon, Pearl Harbor) and his Platinum Dunes partners Brad Fuller and Andrew Form (The Purge, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles).  The series was created by showrunner and executive producer Jonathan Steinberg (creator “Jericho,” “Human Target”) and co-executive producer Robert Levine (“Touch”).  Production began on the 10-episode second season at Cape Town Studios in Cape Town, South Africa in November.


About Starz
Starz (NASDAQ: STRZA, STRZB) is a leading integrated global media and entertainment company with operating units that provide premium subscription video programming on domestic U.S. pay television channels (Starz Networks), global content distribution (Starz Distribution) and animated television and movie production (Starz Animation), www.starz.com.

Starz Networks is a leading provider of premium subscription video programming through the flagship STARZ® and ENCORE® pay TV networks which showcase premium original programming and movies to U.S. multichannel video distributors, including cable operators, satellite television providers, and telecommunications companies.  As of September 30, 2013, STARZ and ENCORE serve a combined 57.0 million subscribers, including 22.0 million at STARZ, and 35.0 million at ENCORE, making them the largest pair of premium flagship channels in the U.S.  STARZ® and ENCORE®, along with Starz Networks’ third network MOVIEPLEX®, air over 1,000 movies monthly across 17 linear networks, complemented by On Demand and authenticated online offerings through STARZ PLAY, ENCORE PLAY, and MOVIEPLEX PLAY. Starz Distribution develops, produces and acquires entertainment content, distributing it to consumers globally on DVD, digital formats and traditional television.  Starz Distribution’s home video, digital media and worldwide distribution business units distribute original programming content produced by Starz, as well as entertainment content for itself and third parties.  Starz Animation produces animated TV and movie content for studios, networks, distributors and audiences worldwide.
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  • HeadlessHorseman

    Was it any good?

  • Carl

    It was available on demand a week before it aired. They’ve already ordered a second season, so like Boss and Magic City, don’t see the show going beyond that. It’s Pirate of the Caribbean with nudity.

  • Gel E. Beans

    3.5 is a decent debut. Cable series are kicking — and taking names.

  • Nick.


    if ratings are good it will go further, obviously. Spartacus did. Boss and Magic City unfortunately did not bring in the ratings.

  • John

    Starz will cancel this after two seasons like all of their other shows.

  • reedmac

    It was kinda boring

  • The Nightman Cometh

    I couldnt make it past the halfway point, rather boring and very poorly acted.

  • Sam

    wow, I just hope they won’t cancel it after season 2 like they always do. Since spartacus made 4 seasons with lower ratings, I guess, they’ll keep it around for a while. As long as the ratings are holding.

  • Janet

    great! love it!

  • cimmer

    I’m not sure what I was expecting but what I got wasn’t what I wanted, if that makes sense? lol

  • BaziCat

    It got so irritating when every movie I watched on Starz was interrupted several times by a stupid, distracting promo/popup for the show – that I made the decision to deliberately not watch it.

  • tv2day

    I watched the first episode. Found it to be a snooze fest. Pretty uninteresting. I have cancelled starz. No programming of interest since the end of Spartacus

  • russo

    no it’s not. I can’t stand tpoc and I loved black sails. maybe you should watch it b4 judge

  • Shepherd

    It’s still hard to believe that The White Queen had the most viewed opening weekend for Stars; what a stinker. I know Spartacus didn’t get popular until well after its premier, but still.

    I’ve heard mixed reviews. More seem to think it was alright, but those that didn’t really hated it. I haven’t watched yet, but in general I am hoping that it succeeds.

  • imdbnerd

    Great news! Love me some pirates. Subscribed just ‘for Black Sails’.

  • PRW

    I wonder what the demo will be

  • Jon

    On par with most Starz show, Spartacus when it started did 0.6m, the highest rated series premiere for a new show is Camelot which did 1m. Switching the originals night from Friday to Saturday seems to have paid off.

  • imdbnerd

    don’t forget that 900k watched it on demand before it aired.

  • Carl

    Not surprised since they’ve been plugging the hell out of that show for months now. The trailers I saw didn’t impress me though so I’m giving it a pass unless it starts picking up good reviews and good long term ratings.

  • David

    What’s it’s official rating for it’s debut airing? I hate that Starz is a Saturday network and we can’t get those.

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