Once again, “Game of Thrones” has itself an end-of-year honor that we’re not quite sure that most networks or series really want: Most-Pirated show of the Year. This is a list put out by TorrentFreak every year, where some of the data is compiled of all the illegal downloads a show receives. On some occasions, the total figure is larger than what the average live viewership for the show is every week.
Before we get to sharing the actual list, let’s go ahead and ask the question that is surely on the minds of many: How would HBO really react to this? In the end, they are in a tricky position; from one standpoint, they clearly condemn the practice of viewers not paying for content that they need to monetize in order to keep creating. However, at the same time this sort of aggressive downloading shows that they are making a product that there is a demand for, and if they eventually turn some of these downloaders into subscribers or DVD buyers, then they may still have a victory on their hands.
While many of the shows in the top ten are probably unsurprising inclusions to you, we also imagine that there are a few listed on here that you will be legitimately surprised with on some level.
1. “Game of Thrones” (5.9 million downloads)
2. “Breaking Bad” (4.2 million)
3. “The Walking Dead” (3.9 million)
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)
8. “Homeland” (2.4 million)
9. “Vikings” (2.3 million)
10. “Arrow” (2.2 million)
Obviously, cable series are the shows most sought-after, since not everyone out there has a cable package; seven of the ten series listed are not on broadcast, and three of them are either on HBO or Showtime. To us, the big surprises on here are “Suits” as well as “Vikings,” two shows that often do not get the same sort of national attention as many of the others.
We of course strongly advocate watching series live, and supporting networks and the creative talent behind them by compensating them for their work.
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