The Game of Thrones season finale broke the show’s own piracy record.
The series is a hit with both HBO subscribers and torrent fanatics alike. A record number of people were simultaneously downloading the final episode of the season on Sunday.
According to Torrent Freak, around 171,572 were sharing the episode online at the same time. This effective shatters the previously record held by — you guessed it — Game of Thrones.
When the third season debuted earlier this year, quite a few people without access to HBO were eager to get their hands on the first episode. The Wrap reports that 163,088 torrent users were downloading the premiere simultaneously on the day it aired.
HBO’s Michael Lombardo previously told the website that the pay cable channel was doing its best to cut down on piracy. However, he admitted that this essentially comes with the territory.
“It is a compliment of sorts. [Piracy is] something that comes along with having a wildly successful show on a subscription network,” Lombardo explained.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, HBO has been battling Game of Thrones piracy for quite a while. A single episode in 2012 drew a whopping 4.28 million downloads. However, this figure would be squashed by season three’s premiere.
Although piracy is still a sore spot for the cable channel, it would appear that people are still more than willing to pay for the experience. HBO confirmed Monday that each episode had an average of 13.6 million viewers, putting it ahead of the network’s vampire series True Blood.
In fact, Game of Thrones is currently the most-watched original series on HBO. It ranks behind only The Sopranos in terms of popularity. Given the response to several episodes this season, chances are it could dethrone the gangster drama when the new batch of episodes come around.
Are you a fan of Game of Thrones? Have you ever downloaded an episode of HBO’s hit series?