For the third straight year, Game of Thrones was once again the most-downloaded TV show on illegal file-sharing torrent sites around the world, with more people downloading the finale episode of the hit HBO show than actually tuned in to see it, according to annual estimates by TorrentFreak.com, a site that closely follows the online piracy world.
Another ratings monster, The Walking Dead, was second in this dubious Top 10, but far behind Game of Thrones in terms of download popularity. As TorrentFreak points out, Game of Thrones’ crown wasn’t in much doubt. Earlier in the year, it set a record with more than a quarter of a million people sharing the file simultaneously on torrent sites.
TorrentFreak derives its estimates from data reported by a number of public torrent-tracking sites. Other forms of piracy, including some approaches that are increasingly popular, aren’t easily tracked, so overall piracy of the shows is likely much higher.