Game of Thrones has been the focus of many piracy discussions in recent years, and for good reason.
The HBO hit series has a following of millions of “pirates” who prefer to watch the show through unauthorized channels instead of paid subscriptions.
Some TV-industry insiders closely connected to the show see it as a compliment, or believe the show may even benefit from these rogue followers. On the other hand, however, HBO is cracking down on fans and sites who spread the show without permission.
The pirates themselves are also divided in the reasons why they pirate. Some have no other option, as Game of Thrones is not available where they live, while others simply find the legal options too expensive.
In the midst of all these different view points there is one stable factor. The demand among pirates is growing year after year. During the first season in 2011 the most popular episode was shared 3.4 million times during the entire year, a number that’s now reached in just a few days.
Game of Thrones is particularly popular on torrent sites and this week BitTorrent pirates broke the magical record of 200,000 simultaneous sharers.
A few hours after the first torrent of the show appeared on torrent sites, the Demonii tracker reported that 207,054 people were sharing one single torrent at the same time. 163,496 were sharing a complete copy of that particular torrent while 43,558 were still downloading.
These are mind-boggling numbers that we’ve never seen before. The latest record was set just a few weeks ago, also for a Game of Thrones episode.
This Game of Thrones torrent isn’t the only one that is widely shared. There are several copies of the show available in varying qualities which also have thousands of people downloading.
Counting all the different releases it’s estimated that the latest Game of Thrones episode was downloaded more than 1.5 million times during the first day. This makes the show the likely candidate to be crowned the most-downloaded TV-show at the end of the year.
As previously revealed, Game of Thrones downloaders come from all over the world. Data gathered by TorrentFreak previously revealed that most downloaders came from Australia, the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada and the Netherlands.
It will be interesting to see if the current record will be broken again later this year. For now, however, there are no signs that the pirates’ interest is waning. This means that, unless a miracle happens, Game of Thrones will be crowned the most torrented show for the third consecutive year.