For the second year in a row, the HBO original series Game of Thrones has the dubious honor of being the most illegally downloaded show of the year. This is according to TorrentFreak’s annual list.
According to the website, the Season 3 Finale of Game of Thrones was illegally downloaded 5.9 million times via BitTorrrent.
It would seem that the cable network is taking this all in stride. Earlier this year, right before the premiere of Season 3 of Game of Thrones, Michael Lombardo, the President of Programming for HBO spoke to Entertainment Weekly about the rampant downloading of the series.
“I probably shouldn’t be saying this, but it is a compliment of sorts,” Lombardo said. “The demand is there. And it certainly didn’t negatively impact the DVD sales. [Piracy is] something that comes along with having a wildly successful show on a subscription network.”
One of the biggest contributors to these numbers is how proprietary the series is. Despite numerous attempts by Netflix to acquire the rights to show Game of Thrones on their online streaming service, HBO is determined to keep their shows proprietary.
Coming in second place is the recently ended AMC original series Breaking Bad with 4.2 million downloads.
According to an article by Variety, Vince Gilligan, the creator of Breaking Bad says that he can see the issue from both sides of the coin.
“In some ways the illegal downloading has helped us, certainly, in terms of brand awareness,” he said. “The downside is a lot of folks who worked on the show would have made more money, myself included, if all those downloads had been legal.”
In third place is another AMC original series, The Walking Dead.
Unlike the other two ahead of them, Executive Producer Gale Anne Hurd told Variety that she does not see any benefit from the illegal downloading whatsoever.
“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,” Hurd said. “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.”
Here is a look at the Top 10 List of the most pirated television shows of 2013 via TorrentFreak.
|TV Show||Est. Downloads||Est. U.S. TV Viewers|
|1||Game of Thrones (HBO)||5.9 million||5.5 million|
|2||Breaking Bad (AMC)||4.2 million||10.28 million|
|3||The Walking Dead (AMC)||3.6 million||16.11 million|
|4||The Big Bang Theory (CBS)||3.4 million||20.44 million|
|5||Dexter (Showtime)||3.1 million||2.8 million|
|6||How I Met Your Mother (CBS)||3 million||9.4 million|
|7||Suits (USA)||2.6 million||3.52 million|
|8||Homeland (Showtime)||2.4 million||2.38 million|
|9||Vikings (History)||2.3 million||6 million|
|10||Arrow (CW)||2.2 million||3.24 million|