Game of Thrones Crowned Most Pirated TV-Show of the Season

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With nearly 4 million downloads per episode, the HBO hit series Game of Thrones is the most pirated TV-show of the season. Worldwide hype combined with restricted availability are the key ingredients for the staggering number of unauthorized downloads. How I Met Your Mother and The Big Bang Theory complete the top three, albeit with significantly fewer downloads than the chart topper.

gotAs predicted, Game of Thrones has the honor of becoming the most downloaded TV-show of the spring season.

While there are many reasons for people to download TV-shows through BitTorrent, airing delays and HBO’s choice not to make it widely available online are two of the top reasons.

Game of Thrones is particularly popular in Australia, where people have to wait a week after the U.S. release comes out. Nevertheless, even in the U.S. hundreds and thousands are downloading the show for free, although many would love to pay for it if HBO offered a standalone HBO GO subscription.

It’s clear that HBO (and others) prefer exclusiveness over piracy, which is a dangerous game. They might make decent money in the long run by selling subscriptions. However, this limited availability also breeds pirates, and one has to wonder how easy it is to convert these people to subscriptions once they have experienced BitTorrent.

For now, Game of Thrones appears to be the top contender to throw Dexter off the throne by the end of the year, to become the most pirated TV-show of 2012.

Below we have compiled a list of the most downloaded TV-shows worldwide (estimates per single episode) for the spring season up until June 1st 2012, together with the viewer average for TV in the US. The data for the top 10 is collected by TorrentFreak from several sources, including reports from all public BitTorrent trackers.

Most downloaded TV-shows on BitTorrent, 2011
rank show downloads est. US TV viewers
1 Game of Thrones 3,900,000 4,200,000
2 How I Met Your Mother 2,830,000 8,870,000
3 The Big Bang Theory 2,750,000 15,040,000
4 House 2,310,000 8,720,000
5 Mad Men 1,870,000 9,780,000
6 Modern Family 1,800,000 10,600,000
7 Revenge 1,730,000 7,850,000
8 Desperate Housewives 1,660,000 11,120,000
9 Family Guy 1,600,000 5,740,000
10 Supernatural 1,540,000 1,780,000


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