Top 10 Most Pirated TV-Shows of 2011

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With 2011 nearing its end, today we begin our annual look at the most-pirated entertainment titles across various categories, starting with TV-shows. Dexter comes out on top this year, followed by HBO's debut series Game of Thrones. Although the years of exponential growth in download numbers have passed, episodes of the top TV-shows are still shared among millions of people.

dexterWith 3,620,000 downloads per single episode, Dexter has the honor of becoming the most pirated TV-show of the year.

Despite the fact that Dexter and runner-up Game of Thrones have more downloads than television viewers in the US, the overall number of TV-show downloads is leveling off.

The percentage of TV-show downloaders, from the US in particular, has steadily declined in recent years. This is in part thanks to alternative viewing options such as Hulu and Netflix. In other regions, such as Australia and Europe, the demand for US TV-shows remains strong.

Outside the US fans sometimes have to wait endlessly before their favorite show airs on TV in their own country. Many of them are simply not that patient or willing to torture themselves, and turn to BitTorrent in desperation.

The above suggests that availability is one of the key solutions to decreased TV piracy, and this was confirmed earlier this year. When Fox decided to delay the airing of new episodes on Hulu in August, many former Hulu users turned to BitTorrent where the number of US downloads more than doubled.

In common with many branches of the entertainment industry, the challenge for TV companies is to come up with a business model that allows users to consume what they want at any given time, without losing revenue in the process. When that puzzle is solved worldwide the number of unauthorized downloads will be pretty much insignificant.

Below we have compiled a list of the most downloaded TV-shows (single episode) of 2011, 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 Dexter 3,620,000 2,190,000
2 Game of Thrones 3,400,000 3,040,000
3 The Big Bang Theory 3,090,000 15,980,000
4 House 2,760,000 9,780,000
5 How I Met Your Mother 2,410,000 12,220,000
6 Glee 2,200,000 9,210,000
7 The Walking Dead 2,060,000 7,260,000
8 Terra Nova 1,910,000 9,220,000
9 True Blood 1,850,000 5,530,000
10 Breaking Bad 1,730,000 2,580,000


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