The season finale of HBO’s Game of Thrones has shattered a piracy record, previously held by…Game of Thrones.
According to torrent trackers, over 254,000 people were, at one point, sharing a single torrent for the season four finale episode, “The Children.”
None of this should surprise you, really – at least if you’ve been following Game of Thrones and its swelling popularity. The show has won the most-pirated crown for two years in a row now, and continues to best its own records on an episode-to-episode basis.
Data gathered by TorrentFreak further shows that, in 12 hours, the season finale has been downloaded roughly 1.5 million times. Translated into actual data, that’s close to 2,000 terabytes transferred in half a day.
The download total is expected to increase to more than 7.5 million during the weeks to come and means that unless a miracle happens, Game of Thrones will be crowned the most-pirated TV-show of the year once again.
On the official front, Game of Thrones also bested itself. Nielsen reported 7.1 million total viewers on Sunday night, a record-breaking number which climbed to 9.3 million when you add in encore showings. That’s 32 percent more viewers than GoT had for its third season finale.
So, what’s the significance of this piracy record? Well, Game of Thrones is an incredible show and people want to watch incredible shows. HBO has decided to tether their content to cable, refusing to offer a standalone streaming service. Some people don’t have buddies to share HBO GO passwords with. Remember, people like good shows.
It may seem like a lot of missed revenue opportunity for HBO but strangely enough, the company has expressed indifference toward Game of Thrones‘ piracy in the past.
“I probably shouldn’t be saying this, but it is a compliment of sorts. 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,” HBO programming head Michael Lombardo famously said last year.
He seems to have a point. Last year, Game of Thrones took the title for most-pirated show and Amazon’s best-selling show of the year.
Image via Game of Thrones, Facebook