Much has been made about HBO’s unwillingness to make it’s streaming service, HBO GO, available to people who don’t have HBO cable subscriptions, largely because such a move would spark the wrath of Big Cable. So it probably shouldn’t come as any surprise that, just as some predicted, as many people watched pirated versions of this past season of Game of Thrones as did people who watched it on HBO.
Reports Torrent Freak:
With nearly 4 million downloads per episode, the HBO hit series Game of Thrones is the most pirated TV-show of the season. Worldwide hype combined with restricted availability are the key ingredients for the staggering number of unauthorized downloads. How I Met Your Mother and The Big Bang Theory complete the top three, albeit with significantly fewer downloads than the chart topper.
Game of Thrones is particularly popular in Australia, where people have to wait a week after the U.S. release comes out. Nevertheless, even in the U.S. hundreds and thousands are downloading the show for free, although many would love to pay for it if HBO offered a standalone HBO GO subscription.
At some point, HBO has to address this because they’re losing out on tons of additional revenue that people are literally begging to fork over to them. If those four million people illegally downloading GOT each week were instead paying ten to fifteen bucks every month for a streaming service, well, you do the math. Bottom line: HBO is losing out on millions.