Game of Thrones has the honour of becoming the most downloaded TV-show for the second year in a row, according to the TorrentFreak website.
With 5.9 million downloads via BitTorrent, the 2013 season finale even beat the number of legitimate viewers in the US, 5.5 million. This does not include viewers worldwide. More than half of the downloads occurred in the first week after the show aired.
The number two spot was taken by AMC’s Breaking Bad, with 4.2 million downloads (as compared to 10.28 million regular views) and at number three Fox’s The Walking Dead with 3.6 million downloads (compared to 16.11 million).
reactions to the enormous extent of piracy for some popular programmes receives mixed reaction from the makers. Game of Thrones director David Petrarca previously admitted that piracy generated much-needed ‘cultural buzz’ around his show.
Jeff Bewkes, CEO of HBO’s parent company Time Warner, went even further, stating that receiving the title of ‘most-pirated’ was ‘better than an Emmy.’
But others are more critical, such as Gale Anne Hurd, executive producer of The Walking Dead, who told Variety last week that unauthorised downloads are not necessarily the blessing others claim they are.
“There’s a mistaken belief by many of my peers that piracy is somehow good, that viewers will develop a habit to pay for it. I’m not sure they really understand other than anecdotal evidence that their ratings go up that the people who pirate are not then going to choose legal downloads or legal viewing in the future,” Hurd said.
The remainder of the Top Ten is made up of 4) The Big Bang Theory (3.4 million); 5 Dexter (3.1 million); 6) How I Met Your Mother (3 million); 7) Suits (2.6 million); 9) Vikings (2.3 million); and 10) Arrow (2.2 million)