In what should be no surprise whatsoever to anyone, “Game of Thrones” is pirated a lot around the world.
Just how much? Well, let’s just say that there were more total downloads by a large margin over the number of American viewers who watched on average every week. According to a new report coming in from TorrentFreak, there were at least 8.1 million downloads of the HBO show this year, which is not that far away from doubling the 4.8 million of “The Walking Dead,” the show in second place on the chart. There is only so much piracy that this site can even monitor, and with that in mind, it is safe to assume that the actual total here is significantly higher.
Is HBO concerned about this? We know that they would obviously much prefer it if these people actually paid for the art, which is why they are looking to release a standalone HBO Go service to encourage more viewers to watch their programming rather than just paying for gigantic packages. For a certain extent, this will help; viewers will pay for convenience, but there is a certain threshold they will not pass. Piracy is never a good thing, though we do wonder how many people out there start watching this show through less-than-legal means, only to later subscribe or buy a Blu-Ray collection.
Following “The Walking Dead,” the rest of the top five is populated by “The Big Bang Theory” (3.9 million), “How I Met Your Mother” (3.5 million), and new series “Gotham” (3.2 million). Given the percentage of Americans who have at least standard broadcast TV, we imagine that most of these downloads are from outside the United States.
What do you think about these numbers: Surprised, and is there anything that can be done in your mind to lower them? (We’re still proponents of content providers giving more streaming options, with extended commercials in return for free viewership.) Share with a comment, and head over here to get additional TV updates via our CarterMatt Newsletter. (Photo: HBO.)