Unsurprisingly, according to Torrentfreak, Game of Thrones was the most pirated TV show of the spring (March through June), averaging about 5.2 million downloads per episode, which is actually about as many people as watch the first airing of the episode on HBO. That’s yet another reason that HBO should strongly consider spinning off a stand-alone HBO Go service to those without cable. If even half of those who illegally downloaded Game of Thrones purchased a subscription to HBO Go at $10 a month, that’d come to around $312 million in revenue a year, and I believe the network would quickly become a major competitor of Netflix’s among streaming services given the caliber of their shows and their movie catalog.
What was surprising to me, however, was that the phenomenal Bryan Fuller series, Hannibal not only made the top ten list, but more people downloaded the show — which is FREE to anyone with a television or a computer — than actually watch the show on television. Given the fact that episodes are readily accessible on NBC.com the next day, I don’t know if that’s a problem with the system or people themselves, who would rather illegally download a series than legally watch it with commercial interruptions (if NBC hadn’t picked up Hannibal for a second season, I’d hold those dirty damn pirates accountable).
Here’s the rest of the top ten for the Spring.
1. Game of Thrones (5.2 million times per episode)
2. Big Bang Theory (2.9 million times per episode)
3. How I Met Your Mother (2.85 million times per episode)
4. The Walking Dead (2.7 million times per episode)
5. Hannibal (2.1 million times per episode)
6. Vikings (1.9 million times per episode)
7. Arrow (1.85 million times per episode)
8. The Vampire Diaries (1.8 million times per episode)
9. Modern Family (1.75 million times per episode)
10. Revenge (1.7 million times per episode)