According to the piracy-monitoring site TorrentFreak, 250,000 users shared a single file of the season-four finale at the same time — the largest BitTorrent swarm in history.
The episode, titled “The Children,” saw roughly 1.5 million downloads 12 hours after airing on HBO. TorrentFreak expects the total number of downloads to surpass 7.5 million in the coming weeks. If estimates hold, “GoT” will be the most-pirated TV show of the year again.
“GoT” also set the previous record for the most shares of a single file. The show is most heavily pirated in the U.S., the U.K., Australia and Canada.
Jeff Bewkes, CEO of HBO’s parent company Time Warner, once said that piracy has helped HBO, leading to more subscriptions for the network.
“‘Game of Thrones’ is the most pirated show in the world. That’s better than an Emmy,” he said.
Earlier this month, “GoT” become the most popular series in HBO history as it continued to increase its audience with each season.