Detailed by TorrentFreak earlier today, HBO’s Game of Thrones is ranked at the top of the list of most pirated television shows for the second year in a row during the spring season. Hitting an average of 3.9 million downloads per episode during 2012, the new average adds an additional 1.3 million downloads for a grand total of 5.2 million downloads per episode. Interestingly, this comes close to matching the average U.S. viewership numbers, approximately 5.5 million viewers per episode. In addition, the season finale of Game of Thrones recently broke a torrenting record for the amount of people sharing the episode within 24 hours of broadcast.
Other shows that continues to rank at the top of the top ten list of most pirated shows during the first half of the year include CBS’s The Big Bang Theory and How I Met Your Mother. This is likely due to CBS’s continued lack of a digital distribution strategy when it comes to being a part of a subscription service like Hulu.
The Walking Dead made an appearance ranking number four on the list, followed by three brand new shows, NBC’s Hannibal, History’s Vikings and the CW ‘s Arrow. The remainder of the list includes the CW ‘s Vampire Diaries, ABC’s Modern Family and ABC’s Revenge.
It’s important to note that these numbers only account for download statistics from a variety of BitTorrent trackers. Anyone that downloads shows from a cyberlocker service or simply streams the video through a file storage service are not included in the data. It’s likely that the number of people watching pirated episodes of Game of Thrones is significantly higher than the average of 5.2 million people per episode. Regarding the impact on the show’s popularity in the United States, show creator David Petrarca recently mentioned that pirating is partly responsible for the “cultural buzz” around the television series.