Game of Thrones Tops the List of Most Pirated Shows in 2015

According to online piracy tracking site TorrentFreakGame of Thrones was the most-pirated television show of 2015, with an estimated 14.4 million downloads of its season finale on BitTorrent. This is the fourth year in a row the HBO show has topped TorrentFreak's list, despite HBO's efforts to curb piracy this year by allowing people without cable subscriptions to watch the show via its HBO Now streaming service. The season finale earned 8.1 million legal views when it aired in June, according to Nielsen estimates.

The second-place finisher is the most popular show on cable, The Walking Dead, which wasn't even close to Game of Thrones, with 6.9 million downloads for its most popular episode.

Here's the top 10, by estimated number of downloads for the respective top episode:

1. Game of Thrones, 14.4 million
2. The Walking Dead, 6.9 million
3. The Big Bang Theory, 4.4 million
4. Arrow, 3.9 million
5. The Flash, 3.6 million
6. Mr. Robot, 3.5 million
7. Vikings, 3.3 million
8. Supergirl, 3 million
9. The Blacklist, 2.9 million
10. Suits, 2.6 million

What illegal things did you do in 2015?

This article originally appears on TV Guide.com.

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Mar 04, 2016
I can see why GoT is at the top of this list. It's on HBO, which is an extra payment to your cable company if you want it. There is an option to pay on their website, but you can't just buy a single show. If they offered 'pay per show' on their site, then they'd probably see less piracy on that. In the UK, the company that owns the rights to it (Sky), shows it on one of their 'exclusive' channels (Sky Atlantic), so if you have another cable provider, which many do because Sky isn't necessarily the best one and you can't get it everywhere, you're out of luck and either have to get it by download, or wait till the box sets come out. With the heavy plotting of the show, and the massive amount of spoilers that come out so quickly, can you really blame people?
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Jan 07, 2016
My plan this year is to wait until the last few episodes of GOT are to come out and go for the free trial on HBO now and watch all the episodes for free and then when season 7 comes out I will see what options are left. I do not like the idea of stealing other peoples works and buy DVDs when I have enough money to do so or go to the local library and rent a few DVDs for free.

Maybe if HBO didn't wait for a year before releasing the past Season some of the pirating would end.
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Jan 05, 2016
Happy New Year TV.com staff and members.

Putting my two cents into the matter.... I do not think the problem is the downloading of the actual show, but the money is made in the commercial sponsers. They are the ones that pay the network for a spot. Now cable shows are by subscriptions and get their money that way. The conundrum is that there is worldwide audience now thanks to the internet. As one member mentioned some have no other way to watch these shows. I really believe (i am so naive) that most downloaders would pay a SMALL fee for downloading. That way the stay legal and watch the shows and movies they want to. Why would someone say in Italy pay for a cable channel to watch older movies that are out on the video club, just to watch 3 months out of the year Game of Thrones. Then they are stuck with some shows they do not even want to watch and a subscription they really do not want just to be legal. Better sense to me would be a streaming channel 10-20 euros a month for unlimiting streaming. Money would go to the networks directly. Advertising would be minimal.

Well thats my two cents, yes i live in a fantasy world. Have a great New Year.
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Feb 19, 2016
The problem is the business model, this could be easily solved by streaming free without any restriction with ads. I would watch the ads willingly...
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Dec 30, 2015
I watch all these shows exept Supergirl, but i plan to watch it. good stuff.
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Dec 30, 2015
Number of illegal downloads : zero.
Number of unlawful downloads : that's a whole other matter and my lawyer says it's best not comment.
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Dec 29, 2015
some people have no other way to watch it
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Dec 29, 2015
Two surprises here

I'm surprised Hannibal didn't scrape this list - NBC moved it to Saturday but Canada still aired it on the Thursday so more than half of the season was torrented two days earlier than the US air-date - did people actually wait to watch it on Saturday? especially the finale?

And not only is The Big Bang Theory the highest rated comedy on TV - it is also the highest rated torrented comedy :O very surprising to me
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Dec 29, 2015
What a random article. Actually....... what a random article that you guys put out each year. I dont know... I guess Im saying like.. who cares?

I guess I just want real tv news? sorry
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Dec 29, 2015
I care and this is TV news?
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Dec 29, 2015
I deny everything. Standard policy. But to be honest copyright infringement is near the top of the list. I don't believe in it. All ideas are based on ideas that were already there. But that's a philosophical question because the law says otherwise.

But in my defense i have a Netflix subscription and i went to The Force Awakens three times. Who says i don't pay for my entertainment?




yeah, That's right. Evil surrounds us.

P.S. R.I.P. Lemmy Kilmister, Motörhead frontman. He was 70. See you at the other side.

Cancer SUCKS! But it was nothing short of a miracle he lasted that long considering his lifestyle. *** pours glass of whiskey ***
Cheers !

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Jan 07, 2016
"The internet is about the free exchange and sale of other people's ideas." Futurama
So imagine you have an idea.. and you make your living off of that idea...but hey some other guy doesn't believe in copyright infringement and viola your only source of income is gone?
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Dec 29, 2015
What illegal things did you do in 2015?

Ask NSA, they keep track of it. And of everything else....
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Dec 29, 2015
Isn't the whole piracy debate more interesting in that some broadcasters don't bother with going so keenly after pirate sites/individuals. And yet mange to survive fine and not bitch on like they need to sell their stars kidneys to keep airing?
Also, I guess the word irony is absent in their vocab' when they now appear to be relying on an (alleged) pirate site for data and justification for its actions. Perhaps they'll advertise on it in the can't beat 'em, join stakes like some companies, e.g. ISP's, do - or so I'm told.
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Dec 29, 2015
To put it simply, Well Duh GoT is #1! Better luck next time Kirkman:-)
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Dec 29, 2015
This comment has been removed.
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Dec 29, 2015
Soooo....What you're saying is you have no idea what you're talking about?
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Dec 29, 2015
Yeah, cause The blacklist is a great show? Oh-Kay :S
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Dec 29, 2015
Seems like that early, super clear quality, Supergirl leak to let the internet decide popular opinion and stopping critics from tearing it to shreds before it had a chance, was successful then.
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Dec 29, 2015
SHAME! *clang* SHAME! *clang* SHAME! *clang*
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Dec 29, 2015
A better question is what illegal things didn't I do in 2015...
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Dec 29, 2015
Eat, sleep, clean, etc. :P
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Dec 29, 2015
Do those things while nude in public and they also become illegal. :P
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Dec 28, 2015
I didn't know the "pirates" liked my favorite show that much. In a weird way that's nice.
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Dec 29, 2015
Game of thrones is very popular worldwide. I know in my country it is heavily pirated among others in my region. I think they should find a way to benefit from this somehow. I mean, come on, 14 MILLION people went out of their way to download a show??? That's mind-boggling. And kind of a complement
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Dec 28, 2015
I am truly shocked. Why would you out us this way? It's supposed to be a big secret...
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Dec 28, 2015
One should never underestimate The Big Bang Theory.
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Dec 28, 2015
"What illegal things did you do in 2015?"

Ask me again in a few years when the statue of limitations runs out. :)

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Dec 31, 2015
Pretty sure it's a statute, not a statue. Ha.
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Dec 28, 2015
I'm sure HBO could reduce that a lot by directly selling their show to viewers outside of the US. Although I don't know whether the amount they get from international broadcasters is more than they would gets from individual HBO Go subscribers.
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Dec 28, 2015
Game of Thrones is available in my country on a pay channel, one day after the USA. That doesn't mean that most people pay for it. They don't. I'm pretty sure a lot of people in the usa also watch it illegally. It is what it is. The good news is, despite these numbers, Game of Thrones stills makes a huge profit around the world.
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Dec 29, 2015
I agree, but what I was saying is that is many countries it is very expensive to get Game of Thrones. I suspect that if HBO allowed international viewers to access HBO Go, many would.
Now that US content owners no longer need to be broadcasting in different countries to distribute their shows, I wonder if we will gradually start to see a change in how things work.
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Dec 29, 2015
I am a new user of netflix in my country (it just launched here) and i can tell you, i rather connect to the US one - there's so much more stuff! :-) I totally agree that more people pay for it if it's cheaper. But i fear the connection to global stuff like you describe is still far from happening :-(.
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Dec 29, 2015
A friend of mine (in the UK) has said exactly the same thing about his new Netflix subscription.
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Dec 29, 2015
I think the reasoning is that if more contnet would be available in other countries people would watch it legally for certain price. but for most shows you can't watch it even if you want to pay for it.

So it's either wait until some TV station in your country buys and airs it months after it coems out or pirate it.

Not justifying or excusing piracy, just saying this is one of the reasons why it exists.
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Dec 29, 2015
I can tell you a big reason for me it's the fact that i want to watch the episodes at the moment they come out. In my case is because i enjoy discussing with people here, but i know other people just want to see their favorite shows as soon as possible, and they watch them with horrible subtitles and all cause they cannot manage to wait :-) Game of thrones might be more about the price, though, cause it airs 1 day after the usa in my country now. Other shows you have to wait for months, when you now they are available out there, gee.
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Dec 28, 2015
Will, we all know the NSA tracks everything...so I have noooooo idea
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Dec 28, 2015
I think other shows, like Homeland, The Good Wife and Quantico come to mind, would be higher in the list than Suits and Vikings. Mr. Robot, well, maybe it is popular worlwide hacker-spirited peoples of the world. Not talking quality here, but more... what I usually see, you know, in the dark places of the net.
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Dec 28, 2015
We are talking about the entire world, this is the only way to watch these shows in many countries.
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Dec 28, 2015
I live in one of those many countries. We are talking about the entire world for ALL OF THE SHOWS.
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Dec 29, 2015
You can only watch TV by illegally downloading the shows?
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Dec 29, 2015
It varies per country, but for the most part, ALL shows have to be downloaded if you want to watch them when they first come out. Which is where, by comparison, i said that i had noticed trends list with different shows from the ones in this list. I never saw Suits in a trend list. But in general, it is damn difficult to know what the real numbers are, right? Cause it is illegal!
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Dec 29, 2015
No, but shows air with delay of couple of months, if anybody shows them at all.
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Dec 29, 2015
Has the U.S. ever imported Bulgarian or Zimbabwean television shows? THINK ABOUT IT. If it ain't American, it ain't really television... except for Downton Abbey, apparently. But that's it.
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Dec 28, 2015
Whoa! What a landslide lead for Game of Thrones!
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Dec 29, 2015
It kills in tv ratings too, which makes me wonder about the true number of people watching this show week to week.
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Dec 28, 2015
Jaywalked!
I'm quite the bad boy
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Dec 28, 2015
"What illegal things did you do in 2015?"

That's really a different question altogether...
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