Season six of Game of Thrones premiered this past Sunday night, and if you were one of the unlucky souls who happened to miss it because you’re too cheap to shell out for HBO, fear not! Dozens of copies of episode one appeared online shortly after the episode ended, and according to Torrent Freak it’s already been pirated over one million times:
Data gathered by TorrentFreak estimates that after half a day, over a million people have downloaded the episode via BitTorrent. At the time of writing, more than 200,000 people are actively sharing one of the three most-popular torrents.
An interesting trend among pirates is a move from standard definition (480p) to high-definition (720p and 1080p) video. A few years ago roughly 10% downloaded HD copies, which are larger in size, but today this is getting close to 50%.
As for which countries were the biggest torrenting offenders, Australia makes up a whopping 12.5% of all download locations, while India and the United States take second and third, respectively, at 9.7% and 8.5%. And while Torrent Freak notes that these download numbers are “significant and higher than we’ve seen for any recent TV-shows,” they aren’t big enough to break last year’s record after the first four episodes of season five were leaked online.
The statistics reported above only account for BitTorrent downloads, so it’s possible that other pirate sources such as streaming and direct download sites did see an increase. Also, in the U.S. HBO was available for free over the past weekend, which may have had an effect too.
Either way, Game of Thrones is certainly on its way to once again becoming the most pirated TV-show of the year, regardless of how not-chill most of its characters are.
[H/T Torrent Freak]