Game of Thrones Premiere Broke Torrent Records
Considering it was the most pirated show of 2012, it shouldn’t surprise anyone that the new season premiere of Game of Thrones was downloaded quite a bit this weekend.
But the sheer volume it pretty staggering – in fact, it broke records.
TorrentFreak has the numbers: In just a few hours after the first torrent of the show was uploaded, 163,088 people were sharing the single torrent. That broke down to 110,303 actively sharing and 52,786 still downloading.
That’s a record in the world of BitTorrent tracking – the largest previous swarm belonging to a season premiere of Heroes with 144,663 peers.
If you take into account all of the torrents, TorrentFreak reports that estimates put the total number of Game of Thrones season 3 premiere downloads at over a million. That’s a performance that even a hard-to-satisfy Lannister patriarch can be proud of.
If you break down the numbers, the majority of sharers came from the United States (12.9%), barely topping the U.K., who took 11.5% of the pie. Australia came in third with 9,9% of the total downloaders.
Of course, there are plenty of reasons that so many people decided to torrent the show. It has a huge following, first and foremost. HBO’s international release delays don’t help either. Plus, there’s a large contingent in the U.S. (and elsewhere) that simply don’t subscribe to HBO and can’t get HBO GO because they don’t have cable. Many of these people would pay for a standalone HBO streaming service, but HBO is yet to offer that outside a few Scandinavian countries (although the prospects have gotten a bit better as of late).
But according to one HBO exec, this piracy is more of a compliment and less of a problem.
“I probably shouldn’t be saying this, but it is a compliment of sorts,” HBO programming head Michael Lombardo recently told EW. “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.”