The “Game of Thrones” Season 4 finale broke the record for illegal downloads, according to reports.
The show set HBO’s viewer records this season, beating out the “The Sopranos.”
According to piracy-monitoring website TorrentFreak, the finale of “GoT” set a “new piracy record.”
“The season finale of Game of Thrones has set a brand new piracy record, with a quarter million people sharing a single file at the same time. During the first 12 hours roughly 1.5 million file-sharers downloaded a pirated copy of the popular show, a number that will swell to over 7.5 million during the days to come,” the website says. “The fourth season of Game of Thrones has been the most-viewed so far, both through official channels and among pirates.”
Preliminary figures say that “The Children”–the finale–drew 7.1 million viewers on HBO and HBO Go.
“In the black market the same episode did well too, setting a mind-boggling piracy record. The latest episode resulted in the largest BitTorrent swarm ever. That is, never before have so many people gathered to share a single file on the Internet,” TorrentFreak also wrote. “A few hours after the first torrent of the show appeared on torrent sites, the Demonii tracker reported that 254,114 people were sharing one single torrent at the same time. 190,701 were sharing a complete copy of that particular torrent while 63,413 were still downloading.”
The finale ended last Sunday. The season premiere of “True Blood” comes on at 9 p.m. on Sunday in its place.
HBO’s programming president Michael Lombardo told EW.com that the piracy and downloading is somewhat welcome. “The demand is there. And it certainly didn’t negatively impact the DVD sales. [Piracy is] something that comes along with having a wildly successful show on a subscription network,” he said.
HBO also said in a statement: “There are numerous anti-theft tools we utilize and we have significantly shrunk the international distribution window for original programming to practically correspond with the US premiere. Unfortunately, with popularity comes piracy. Good news is Game of Thrones continues to grow significantly and tens of millions are watching the series legally around the world.”