You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Fox’s ‘Gotham’ Tops Piracy of Fall TV Premieres with 1.3 Million Downloads

Pirates have swarmed all over “Gotham,” the Batman prequel series that debuted on Fox last week, giving it the dubious distinction of far exceeding file-sharing activity of any other new fall TV show.

From Sept. 17 to Sept. 29, the pilot episode of “Gotham” was downloaded via torrent networks worldwide 1.33 million times, with 600,000 of those coming a day after its season premiere last Monday, according to data provided by piracy-tracking firm Excipio.

That was more than five times any of this season’s other freshman U.S. TV series. Of the six top-rated fall premieres from last week, ABC’s “How to Get Away with Murder” clocked in with 259,432 downloads over the same period, per Excipio’s analysis. That was followed by CBS’s “Madam Secretary” (195,528), CBS’s “Scorpion” (168,091), NBC’s “The Mysteries of Laura” (100,792) and ABC’s “Black-ish” (45,476).

The popularity of “Gotham” among pirates spanned the globe, with the U.S., Australia, the U.K., Brazil and Canada representing the five biggest markets. That reflects the appeal of the Batman superhero franchise worldwide, as well as the fact that sci-fi and fantasy genres are a big draw for pirates.

SEE ALSO: Netflix Lands Fox’s ‘Gotham’ After First Season Worldwide

The international piracy of “Gotham” has implications for Netflix, which struck a deal with Warner Bros. Worldwide Television Distribution for rights to stream the show in all global territories (including Australia) after the first season concludes its broadcast run. While piracy doesn’t help Netflix’s business, the data illustrates people outside the U.S. are interested in the show; the company in the past has said it uses piracy stats as part of determining what content to license.

Asked for comment about the “Gotham” piracy data, Fox said in a statement: “This report underscores the need for effective intellectual property protections. Simply put, pirating TV shows threatens the rights of everyone within the creative community, puts real jobs at risk and endangers our ability to continue producing this quality content.” A rep for Warner Bros. declined to comment.

Piracy of the premiere ep of “Gotham” even topped perennial pirate favorites including “Game of Thrones” and “The Walking Dead” — even though far more episodes of those shows are floating around on file-swapping sites. Over the 13-day period measured, “Gotham” came in No. 4, not far behind “Sons of Anarchy” (1.43 million), “Under the Dome” (1.40 million) and “The Big Bang Theory” (1.38 million), according to Excipio. “GoT” registered 1.10 million and “Walking Dead” was at 777,835.

It’s worth noting that the 177,000-plus downloads of “Gotham” occurred in the U.S., even though full episodes of the show are available in the States to stream next day on Fox.com and the broadcaster’s Fox Now services for free (without requiring pay-TV authentication).

“Gotham,” which stars Ben McKenzie, Donal Logue and Jada Pinkett Smith, covers the untold origin stories of characters from the Batman universe when the yet-to-be-superhero still a child.

One silver lining for Fox and Warner Bros.: The pilot was finished in May, and avoided any leaks onto piracy sites until it aired on TV.

More TV

  • Series Mania: De Mensen, Reel One

    Series Mania: First Details on Co-Pro Pitching Project 'Capturing Big Mouth' (EXCLUSIVE)

    LILLE, France — Belgian production company De Mensen, which has just been acquired by France’s Newen, has teamed with Reel One Entertainment on a new cross-continental thriller series, “Capturing Big Mouth. The series will be pitched Monday at this year’s Series Mania Forum Co-pro Pitching section. It chronicles the unlikely rise and eventual fall of [...]

  • Daily Show Viacom

    Viacom, DirecTV Make Progress in Contract Talks, No Blackout After Deadline Passes

    UPDATED: Viacom and DirecTV executives went down to the wire Friday on a combative contract renewal negotiation with high stakes for both sides. The companies stayed in talks past the midnight Eastern contract expiration and the channels stayed up on AT&T’s platforms. Sources indicated early Saturday that the threat of a blackout had been averted. [...]

  • ABBY'S -- "Pilot" Episode 101 --

    TV Review: 'Abby's' Starring Natalie Morales

    “Abby’s,” NBC’s new comedy about a cranky bartender (Natalie Morales) and her inner circle of regulars, is aware of the inevitable “Cheers” comparisons. Created by “New Girl” writer Josh Malmuth and executive produced by uber-producer (and unabashed “Cheers” superfan) Mike Schur, “Abby’s” therefore makes a few key choices in order to differentiate itself as its [...]

  • Ryan Murphy Walk of Fame

    TV News Roundup: Netflix Sets Premiere Date for Ryan Murphy's 'The Politician'

    In today’s roundup, Netflix announces the premiere date for Ryan Murphy’s “The Politician” series, and Kristin Cavallari will host “Paradise Hotel” on Fox.  DATES Reality star Kristin Cavallari will host Fox’s reboot of “Paradise Hotel,” an unscripted dating show in which a group of singles will check into a tropical resort and compete to check [...]

  • 'Selling Sunset': Producer Behind Netflix's First

    'Selling Sunset': Producer Behind Netflix's First Docusoap on the State of Reality TV

    Netflix crossed another unscripted threshold on Friday with the launch of “Selling Sunset,” an 8-episode series that follows a group of real estate agents on the Sunset Strip. The show is believed to be the streaming service’s first docusoap, the now-ubiquitous format first popularized in the early 2000s by shows like MTV’s “Laguna Beach” and [...]

  • Discovery CEO David Zaslav Sees 2018

    Discovery CEO David Zaslav Sees 2018 Compensation Soar to $129.4 Million

    Discovery Inc. president-CEO David Zaslav is once again making headlines for an enormous compensation package. Zaslav’s 2018 compensation soared to $129.44 million in 2018, fueled by stock options and grants awarded as the longtime Discovery chief signed a new employment contract last July that takes him through 2023 at the cable programming group. Zaslav received [...]

  • 'Supernatural' to End After Season 15

    'Supernatural' to End After Season 15 on The CW

    “Supernatural” is ending after 15 seasons. Series stars Jared Padalecki, Jensen Ackles, and Misha Collins made the announcement in a video posted on Instagram on Friday. “We just told the crew that even though we’re very excited to be moving into our 15th season, it will be our last,” Ackles said. “15 years of a [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content