‘Game of Thrones’ breaks online piracy records in many countries

MUMBAI: The season premiere of ‘Game of Thrones’ is breaking records on multiple fronts, with a million downloads on BitTorrent in less than a day and proving that never before have so many people shared a file at the same time with more than 160,000 simultaneous peers.

Data gathered by TorrentFreak further shows that Australia has the highest piracy rate of the popular download destinations, while London tops the list of pirate cities.

One of the reasons cited for the popularity among pirates is the international delay in airing. Outside the US, fans of the show sometimes have to wait a while before they can see the latest episode. HBO is trying to close these gaps as best it can.

The new season premiere of ‘Game of Thrones’ has, as expected, generated quite a bit of activity on various BitTorrent sites.

Thousands of downloaders went out to grab a copy of the show, breaking the record for the largest BitTorrent swarm ever in the process. A few hours after the first torrent of the show was uploaded, the OpenBitTorrent tracker reported that 163,088 people where sharing one single torrent. A total of 110,303 were sharing a complete copy of that particular torrent while 52,786 were still downloading.

Previously, the record for the largest BitTorrent swarm belonged to the season premiere of the TV-show ‘Heroes’ with 144,663 peers.

Counting all the different releases, it is estimated that the latest ‘Game of Thrones’ episode has been downloaded over a million times already.

Delays are just part of the problem though. The fact that the show is only available to those who pay for an HBO subscription does not help either. This explains why many people from the US prefer to use BitTorrent.

The US comes out on top, followed by the UK and Australia. The number three spot for Australia is impressive and with a population of just over 22 million people it has the highest piracy rate. Looking at other cities, most downloads come from London, before Paris and Sydney.

But according to HBO, piracy is not killing the show. While HBO would prefer if everyone paid for ‘Game of Thrones’, their programming President Michael Lombardo does not fear piracy. He sees it as a compliment and does not believe it negatively impacts DVD-sales.

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