Millions of people want to watch HBO’s Game of Thrones, but not everyone wants to pay to do so. Once again, the series has topped TorrentFreak‘s list of the most-pirated TV show on the internet, with AMC’s The Walking Dead and fellow HBO hit Westworld following in its wake.
This year’s results make it the fifth time in a row that Game of Thrones has topped the annual list, and according to TorrentFreak, interest remained steady compared to last year. Traffic on BitTorrent was about the same as compared to 2015. In 2016, the June 26 season finale was particularly popular, with 350,000 people actively sharing the episode on the website across multiple torrents after it aired.
TorrentFreak pointed out that although there wasn’t a huge change traffic-wise, this doesn’t mean that piracy has remained the same. Over the course of the year, there have been people opting for streaming over torrents. As a result, piracy could have climbed without the BitTorrent numbers reflecting it.
Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead held their first- and second-place spots from last year, but there were newcomers. The sci-fi thriller Westworld made its first appearance, topping longer-running shows like The Big Bang Theory, which moved from No. 3 to No. 5, and Flash, which climbed up a spot to fourth, to nab third. Meanwhile, fellow freshman series Lucifer and The Grand Tour joined the list as well, at eighth and ninth, respectively.
With the top 10 rounded out by Arrow, Vikings, and Suits, only HBO and The CW had two series make the cut. While being among the most-pirated shows might not seem like a badge of honor, it does indicate a certain amount of popularity. That seems very true of the hits Game of Thrones and Westworld — even if TorrentFreak’s numbers show the series’ enthusiastic fans don’t all subscribe to HBO.
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