'Game of Thrones' wears the crown as most pirated show of 2012

December 28, 2012, 11:25 am Dorothy Pomerantz, Forbes

Naughty people love 'Game of Thrones': The most pirated TV shows of 2012.


Well actually everyone loves Game of Thrones right? But naughty people love to pirate the show more than any other TV show on the air today. That’s according to the blog TorrentFreak which annually ranks the most pirated TV shows.

According to TorrentFreak, as many as 3 million people on average pirate each episode of the popular HBO series. One episode was downloaded 4 million times. Most of the illegal downloads come from outside of the U.S. but there are still plenty of people illegally watching the show right here in the states.

So what drives people to pirate Game of Thrones? For one thing, the show airs in the U.S. before it does in countries like Australia so people are just impatient. But the show is also being heavily pirated in countries where it airs at the same time as in the U.S. like Canada and Great Britain.

Many people are likely HBO fans who don’t have cable. Time Warner‘s HBO has (some might say brilliantly) entwined itself with the cable companies with its wonderful HBO GO app. Sure you can watch tons of HBO content anywhere in the world on your iPad, but only if you get HBO through your cable provider. Otherwise, you’re basically out of luck unless you can find a Blockbuster to rent HBO series or you still use Netflix‘s DVD service because HBO doesn’t have a deal with Netflix streaming.

Although I’m sure HBO isn’t happy about the piracy issue, it’s doubtful that it’s taking much out of the company’s revenues. Those pirate are people who never would have paid for the service anyway.

So Game of Thrones is understandable as a heavily-pirated show but some other shows on there are headscratchers. Ranking third is one of the easiest shows in the world to watch: The Big Bang Theory. Not only is the show on network TV every week, it airs incessantly in reruns and it’s available on CBS.com. Maybe people just get used to watching pirated TV?

Other network shows on there include How I Met Your Mother,House and Fringe.

Here are the top 5 most pirated shows according to TorrentFreak.

1. Game of Thrones
2. Dexter
3. The Big Bang Theory
4. How I Met Your Mother

5. Breaking Bad

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