HBO’s Game of Thrones is the most pirated show of 2013.
The popular action series has been downloaded illegally by 5.2 million people, according to Torrent Freak.
Putting that number in comparison, the show averaged 5.5 million legal HBO viewers.
According to Torrent Freak, numbers were pulled from “several sources” including BitTorrent trackers, which show the number of downloaders and seeders for each pirated copy of Games Of Thrones.
The company’s research doesn’t include illegal online streams and downloads from the likes of cyberlocker. That means there are likely more people illegally downloading and streaming Game of Thrones then who are actually watching it legally through an HBO subscription.
According to Torrent Freak GoT is the only show that has nearly as many legal viewers as illegal viewers. In comparison, The Big Bang Theory’s 2.9 million illegal downloads is far eclipsed by the shows 20 million legal viewers who tune into CBS every single week.
The survey’s show numbers for Game Of Thrones leaves a lot of questions open for discussion. For example, does the exclusivity of an HBO subscription lead users to seek out shows that are hidden behind a paywall? Or perhaps HBO users are just more tech savvy and therefore more likely to hunt down illegal HBO downloads.
While HBO is experiencing a high level of piracy, the company’s President of Programming Michael Lombardo recently told EW that such piracy is “a compliment of sorts.” Lombardo further notes:
“The demand is there. And it certainly didn’t negatively impact the DVD sales. [Piracy is] something that comes along with having a wildly successful show on a subscription network.”
Have you watched Game Of Thrones via illegal download or through your favorite illegal streaming service?