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Game of Thrones is Most Downloaded TV Show of 2012

By - Source: TorrentFreak | B 22 comments

Big budget fantasy show Game of Thrones has topped the list of most pirated TV shows in 2012. According to TorrentFreak, the show has been awarded the title of 'Most Pirated TV Show of 2012 with 4,280,000 downloads for a single episode. Game of Thrones was followed by last year's number one, which was Showtime's Dexter. Rounding out the top five was The Big Bang Theory, How I Met Your Mother, and Breaking Bad.

Despite attempts to crack down on illegal sharing (2012 saw MegaUpload shut down and UK ISPs block access to The Pirate Bay and Newzbin2), TorrentFreak says TV show downloads saw a small increase over the last year. With 80 percent of TV show piracy occurring outside of the U.S., a lack of availability was cited as the number one reason people turn to BitTorrent to obtain TV shows. For Game of Thrones, specifically, TF says airing delays and HBO decision to not make the show widely available online were two of the top reasons people pirated the show.

Indeed, the results of TorrentFreak's analysis once again prove Gabe Newel's point that piracy is often a service problem as opposed to a pricing problem. While some people pirate content because they don't want to pay, many people pirate content because getting it legally is sometimes more difficult or even not possible at all. Though services like Netflix and Hulu show how far digital distribution has come, we still have a long way to go.

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Top Comments
  • 17 Hide
    thecolorblue , December 28, 2012 4:20 PM
    "airing delays and HBO decision to not make the show widely available online were two of the top reasons people pirated the show."

    corporations with their heads up their collective @sses once again
  • 11 Hide
    g00fysmiley , December 28, 2012 4:20 PM
    I wanted it legally with a friend's hbo account info, i don't have cable myself but if HBo offered an online only pay for access account for a reasonable price i would pay them directly happily i justdon't want to pay for regular cable to get it
Other Comments
  • 17 Hide
    thecolorblue , December 28, 2012 4:20 PM
    "airing delays and HBO decision to not make the show widely available online were two of the top reasons people pirated the show."

    corporations with their heads up their collective @sses once again
  • 11 Hide
    g00fysmiley , December 28, 2012 4:20 PM
    I wanted it legally with a friend's hbo account info, i don't have cable myself but if HBo offered an online only pay for access account for a reasonable price i would pay them directly happily i justdon't want to pay for regular cable to get it
  • 9 Hide
    SirGCal , December 28, 2012 4:38 PM
    I refuse to pay for 'premium' channels. But I also don't pirate anything. But if I wanted to see it, I could pay for HBO, etc. It's my choice... But I do NOT understand those choices to keep it from the 'rest of the world'... Release it world wide or IMHO, you made your bed and it's your own damn fault when people want to see the latest hits and have no other alternative but to download it. I do not pirate, but if I was in their situation with no other alternative, I might feel differently.
  • 1 Hide
    robochump , December 28, 2012 5:06 PM
    HBO offers shows for its subscribers and people want it for free. What to do, what to do? A few things that HBO can do is offer its show at a reasonable price. I wanted to buy the complete ROME 2 season show on DVD and was over $50! Another thing is to put the shows after a year on Netflix, HULU, etc. HBO will still make some $$$ and allow non-subs access to the show that would otherwise be potentially pirated. Just 2 cent$...
  • -1 Hide
    DEVILVSANGEL00 , December 28, 2012 5:22 PM
    Im from the uk and we get us tv shows a few weeks and sometimes months later after they aired in the usa, i know alot of people that download the tv shows just because they love it and want to see the latest episodes as soon as possible instead of waiting forever, also the fact that there isnt any advertisements in the downloded versions also adds to the incentive to get it from a download instead of waiting.

    what i find most disapointing about the companys that make the tv shows is that they sometimes cancel great and amazing tv shows because they belive the ratings are low, but in truth most people just download the shows in bulk and watch all the episodes in sequence without any adverts from the tv channel instead of having to wait and be in front of the tv at a certain time and place every week, if the companys that create the tv shows looked at the download statistics they would find that the shows themself are alot more popular then they think, they should find a way to allow people to watch it online and up to the aired episode number that was shown on usa tv and also set up a online donation sceme to give the people the oppertunity to say thank you towards the show and help it keep going instead of cancelling them all the time, if they did this for fringe i know i would do my best to keep that amazing show alive,
  • 2 Hide
    kinggraves , December 28, 2012 5:32 PM
    robochumpHBO offers shows for its subscribers and people want it for free. What to do, what to do? A few things that HBO can do is offer its show at a reasonable price. I wanted to buy the complete ROME 2 season show on DVD and was over $50! Another thing is to put the shows after a year on Netflix, HULU, etc. HBO will still make some $$$ and allow non-subs access to the show that would otherwise be potentially pirated. Just 2 cent$...


    2 Seasons for 50 dollars, so roughly 18 hours worth of programming for 50 dollars? That doesn't sound too bad really, especially including the extras and packaging that would likely come with the DVD box set. Also putting it onto services after a year would do nothing, people would have pirated it by then.

    Now, HBO and other premium channels, being premium channels, do have higher budgets for their original programming. Higher budgets mean their content is considered "more valuable" and come at a higher price. That's the facts of life. I would certainly watch it if it were on Hulu or Netflix, but it's completely unreasonable to expect something that costs more to make to come at the same price. Either they have to lower the budgets or charge more for that type of content. I imagine they also charge Netflix or other movie services a bucketload for the streaming rights.

    Don't get me wrong though, premium channels are the cancer of cable TV. Old movies all day long just for a chance to see the one you want and maybe one or two of their original shows are actually great. Their business model was completely torn to shreds by Netflix. I don't have to tune in at a certain time to see the movie I want anymore, I can TiVo it or watch old and B movies on Netflix. They more than anyone else need to change their business strategy and adapt to streams somehow, because the old pay TV business model is useless in today's economy.
  • 0 Hide
    jonjonjon , December 28, 2012 7:18 PM
    game of thrones is like a hour movie every week. i can only image how much money they spend. i don't buy the "service problem as opposed to a pricing problem" sure some people would buy it but the vast majority would still pirate it even if it was available to them. not sure why HBO doesn't make HBO GO available worldwide. what would the have to loose? would they have to spend more money to install servers in other countries?
  • 0 Hide
    super d spamalot , December 28, 2012 8:13 PM
    Count me in as one of those "pirates". I don't have cable, or satellite. I use a good 'ole HD antenna and I live in Canada, so I don't even have the option of getting HBO. Of course they weren't going to get my money regardless, but I'm still considered criminal scum in their eyes, even though they will definitely gain me as a customer the second they offer an online streaming service. If I wasn't able to download that stuff for free, I would have never been interested. Ever. Funny how that works, yeah?
  • 4 Hide
    crewton , December 28, 2012 8:22 PM
    I watched season 1 by getting the dvds on netflix. That was a such a pain since there was only 2 episodes per disc (and the last episode was its own disc!) that it took 2 months just to watch it through netflix. When season 2 came out I just streamed it online. There is no point in forcing me to spend months to watch something when I can easily get it online. Stream it on netflix and it wouldn't be a problem.
  • 1 Hide
    acerace , December 28, 2012 9:12 PM
    Everything's online now, HBO.
  • 1 Hide
    f-14 , December 28, 2012 10:18 PM
    DEVILVSANGEL00Im from the uk and we get us tv shows a few weeks and sometimes months later after they aired in the usa, i know alot of people that download the tv shows just because they love it and want to see the latest episodes as soon as possible instead of waiting forever, also the fact that there isnt any advertisements in the downloded versions also adds to the incentive to get it from a download instead of waiting. what i find most disapointing about the companys that make the tv shows is that they sometimes cancel great and amazing tv shows because they belive the ratings are low, but in truth most people just download the shows in bulk and watch all the episodes in sequence without any adverts from the tv channel instead of having to wait and be in front of the tv at a certain time and place every week, if the companys that create the tv shows looked at the download statistics they would find that the shows themself are alot more popular then they think, they should find a way to allow people to watch it online and up to the aired episode number that was shown on usa tv and also set up a online donation sceme to give the people the oppertunity to say thank you towards the show and help it keep going instead of cancelling them all the time, if they did this for fringe i know i would do my best to keep that amazing show alive,



    i'm from the states and my friend from london says he just picked up the season 2 dvd boxed set. something that isn't even for sale in the states.

    the bloody show is mostly filmed in the u.k don't cry to me about not being able to watch this or that when you've already got season 2 in the stores there
  • -2 Hide
    Anonymous , December 28, 2012 10:19 PM
    I dl most all of my tv shows, its fast and no commercials. Can watch it at my leisure. I have a 30 inch display and 2 40" displays hooked to my PC so makes watching my shows nice while i do other things online. I would have figured Walking Dead would have been the most downloaded. No need for cable or satt or dvd rentals if you know where to look and have a fast connection. (110mbs Down 25up).
  • -3 Hide
    tinmann , December 28, 2012 10:35 PM
    I wasn't that impressed with the series. Spartacus is a lot better in my opinion.
    actually there are a few series that I prefer over Game of Thrones like ; Justified, Strike Back, Falling Skies and The Walking Dead.
  • -2 Hide
    Cryio , December 29, 2012 7:50 AM
    I always pirate TV shows. There is so much great stuff, and I either don't have the time, or I don't have the premium channels to watch them.

    I don't have BBC, Fox or whatever. I do have HBO though.

    The programs on which I get most TV shows, sooner or later are AXN and AXN SiFi, but as I said, I don't have time.

    Currently enjoying Chuck :D . Too bad it was cancelled.
  • -2 Hide
    kellybean , December 29, 2012 12:10 PM
    never heard of it
  • 1 Hide
    dark_knight33 , December 29, 2012 12:37 PM
    kinggravesHigher budgets mean their content is considered "more valuable" and come at a higher price.


    That's a false economy. "Value" is determined by the price the general public is willing to pay for something, not what you put into making it. HBO does have higher production values, but also ridiculously short seasons. GoT is 10 episodes per season... 10! Streatched out over the 3 mos it takes to air 10 freaking episodes @ $16/mo for HBO, that's about $5 per episode, or a little more than half of a 2.5 hour long 3D movie ticket.

    In fact, most cable series are stupidly short 12-13 episodes per season. Some of these shows have phenomenal ratings. Would it kill them to do an 18-20 episode run? Hell, Star trek & Xfiles used to run 24 episodes a year. That's almost 6 mos of content! SG-1 & SGA Ran 20+ episodes each year. I get the 45min vs 1hr run time difference, but that's only a 3 episode difference. Perhaps if the premium cable channels made the effort to make a regular season, it might be worth it to keep up an premium subscription.
  • 0 Hide
    grokem , December 29, 2012 2:18 PM
    The real tragedy in all this is how really good TV shows are not getting produced because of this huge market problem.

    I lay most of the blame for this sort of thing on the incumbent media organizations. There are millions that pay $1500/year or more for video media entertainment but most of that goes into the pockets of middlemen. Some small portion of the blame lies with the well known producers, directors and actors who have the chance to change things taking risks of trying new models. Another small portion of the blame lies with those with those with capitol to implement a new business model for media not taking risks.

    I buy into the "this is not a pricing problem" argument, it is a service problem. The final blame belongs to those of us who don't try and support the efforts to build a new model. Sure when you compare the output of these attempts to something like Game of Thrones the fair market value for one of these new production might approach zero. However, consider how they structure their business model and consider subscribing or paying not on the strength of their current work but on the potential for future work.

    I hate to give examples because I know I'll leave off a massive amount of deserving ones. So I'll name two big ones that most have already heard of as a reference. The Twitt network provides tech programs for free with in show advertising. Revision3 also provides tech centric programming with in program advertising.
  • 3 Hide
    sicom , December 29, 2012 2:22 PM
    I'm glad it was mentioned in the article; I had this conversation earlier in the year when I was looking to legally download/purchase/rent Game of Thrones and came short.

    HBO thinks it's financially counterproductive (their words) to provide the show through online services. I hope they're eating that steamy pile of shit by now.
  • -2 Hide
    DEVILVSANGEL00 , December 29, 2012 5:27 PM
    f-14i'm from the states and my friend from london says he just picked up the season 2 dvd boxed set. something that isn't even for sale in the states.the bloody show is mostly filmed in the u.k don't cry to me about not being able to watch this or that when you've already got season 2 in the stores there


    seems like ur the one bitching not me and were not talking about dvd box sets and who gets them 1st were talking about pirated tv shows, read the title and stop bitching
  • 2 Hide
    n1tr0 , December 29, 2012 5:48 PM
    We ditched cable and now we pay-per-episode or per-streaming-service via Amazon and Netflix. I think content producers like HBO and AMC are idiots for not directly selling their episodes. This would be like Metallica not selling their music via iTunes.
    The only thing the cable companies have going for them is their monopoly over the lines to our homes & buildings. I'd like to see a whole lot more anti-trust and racketeering (RICO) cases brought forth against the cable and telecom providers. The parceling up of cities and neighborhoods to protect their profits is a far bigger issue than a TV show being pirated.
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