Pirates — the Cyber Kind — Love ‘Game of Thrones’


Once again, Game of Thrones is the most pirated show of the year. According to torrenting site TorrentFreak, this year’s season finale was downloaded 14.4 million times with BitTorrent. That number was 8 million in 2014, still enough to make it number one for that year.

It’s fun to guess at why this is the case with Game of Thrones, which appeals broadly to all people who like swords, sex, and violence, but which also appeals specifically to those people who are also internet-savvy enough to work BitTorrent, find episodes, and download them. HBO’s creation of HBO Now, which is basically HBO Go without the cable subscription, seemed to be in response to all the pirating of its hit show, but obviously the relatively easy access to episodes hasn’t changed the fact that some people just don’t like to pay for content.

Funny (or sad), too, is the number of traditional (read: paying) viewers the finale had: 8.1 million. Huh. Anyway, the second most pirated show was “The Walking Dead,” and the third, for some reason, was “The Big Bang Theory,” which is constantly airing on several different channels simultaneously, so obviously a show’s availability has nothing to do with the amount of times it’s pirated.