Top 10 Most Pirated TV Shows on BitTorrent

TV shows are by far the most wanted files via BitTorrent, and according to some, it's fast becoming the modern day TiVo. But what are all those people downloading? Let's find out, and take a look at this weeks "Most pirated TV-episodes" chart.

Nearly 50% of all the people who use BitTorrent at any given point in time do so to download a TV show, with popular series such as “Lost” getting close to 10 million downloads per episode. These figures are getting awfully close to the viewer count on TV as reported by Nielsen, and they are still rising.

People are getting used to on-demand content. They simply want to watch their favorite shows whenever they want, wherever they want. To give some more insight into this growing phenomenon, and because Nielsen is not counting BitTorrent downloads, we decided to start a weekly report of the most downloaded TV shows on BitTorrent.

The data is collected by TorrentFreak from a representative sample of BitTorrent sites. The timing is a bit unfortunate, since popular shows like Desperate Housewives, House and Greys Anatomy just had their season finale last week, but we are aiming to publish an updated list every week from now on.

Top Downloads May 25 – June 01


Ranking TV-show
1 (1) Lost
2 (5) Battlestar Galactica
3 (new) The Daily Show
4 (new) The Colbert Report
5 (new) So You Think You Can Dance
6 (new) Top Chef
7 (new) The Tudors
8 (new) Men in Trees
9 (new) The Ultimate Fighter
10 (new) Greek

To give an impression of how many downloads these shows can get, here is the list of the most downloaded TV episodes in 2007. The number of downloads reported here is for Mininova only, so these could easily quadruple if all large BitTorrent sites were taken into account.

Top Downloads 2007

Ranking TV-Shows (downloads most popular episode)
1 Heroes (2.439.154)
2 Top Gear (1.217.923)
3 Battlestar Galactica (706.209)
4 Lost (705.724)
5 Prison Break (608.487)
6 Desperate Housewives (457.805)
7 24 (524.303)
8 Family Guy (522.839)
9 Dexter (435.670)
10 Scrubs (427.420)


The increasing popularity of these series on BitTorrent and other filesharing networks is a signal that customers want something that they can’t get somewhere else. It is all about availability. This is not a threat to TV studios, but rather an opportunity.

Please note, correct ‘Digg’ link is here

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