‘Game Of Thrones’ retains its crown for the most pirated TV show of 2015, followed by ‘The Walking Dead’ and ‘The Big Bang Theory’. For the fourth year in a row, ‘Game Of Thrones’ has beaten the competition for the most downloaded TV shows of this year, with the season 5 finale downloaded an estimated 14.4 million times via BitTorrent. Both ‘The Walking Dead’ and ‘The Big Bang Theory’ were also downloaded 6.9 and 4.4 million times respectively.
In the first week after the show aired, more than half of the downloads occurred, exceeding the total number of traditional viewers in the US. The top listing of ‘Game Of Thrones’ isn’t that much of a surprise, as earlier this year, it broke an all-time piracy record with 258,131 people sharing the same torrent at the same time. Besides, TorrentFreak stated that pirates have shown increasing interests for higher quality releases, although the 480p copies “remain the most popular among downloaders.”
Even though ‘Game Of Thrones’ finale has an estimated TV viewership of 8.11 million, the statistic doesn’t include other methods of watching the episode legally. The show is aired with HBO’s streaming service called HBO Go, and the airing is exclusive for subscribers. This year, it launched HBO Now, a new streaming service that allows non-subscribers to sign up and stream shows online.
While this indicates that TV piracy is rising, there are some shows that still have more estimated traditional viewers than downloaders. For example, ‘The Walking Dead”s 6.9 million total of downloads is just a fraction of the 15.78 million viewers that watch the show on television. Meanwhile, ‘The Big Bang Theory’ was only downloaded 4.4 million times, compared to its 18.3 million viewership.