Game of Thrones is officially the most pirated television show of 2013. TorrentFreak.com has released a top ten list that shows the HBO series bestowed with the dubious honor for the second year in a row, followed by Breaking Bad and The Walking Dead. Game of Thrones had 5.9 million downloads via BitTorrent this year, while Breaking Bad and The Walking Dead had 4.2 and 3.6 million downloads respectively.
The announcement doesn’t come as much of a surprise, considering Game of Thrones already broke two piracy records earlier this year, one of which saw over 170,000 people sharing a copy of an episode simultaneously.
The debate regarding the pros and cons of such rampant downloads will no doubt remain for some time. Many say that piracy enables viewers to “try” the shows, with the potential for these viewers to become legitimate buyers down the track – especially with more and more legal sources becoming available. Others claim the opposite, stating that those who illegally download won’t easily give up the convenience of having their favorite shows for free.
Here are the top ten most downloaded TV shows on BitTorrent, with estimated downloads:
1. Game of Thrones – 5.9 million
2. Breaking Bad – 4.2 million
3. The Walking Dead – 3.6 million
4. The Big Bang Theory – 3.4 million
5. Dexter – 3.1 million
6. How I Met Your Mother – 3 million
7. Suits – 2.6 million
8. Homeland – 2.4 million
9. Vikings – 2.3 million
10. Arrow – 2.2 million