Record TV ratings for the fifth season premiere of “The Walking Dead” doesn’t mean the AMC drama can’t reach record piracy levels, too.
The episode was downloaded by approximately 1.27 million unique IP addresses worldwide in the first 24 hours since its U.S. TV debut Sunday, according to piracy tracking firm Excipio.
That’s more than four times than what the two previous season premieres in 2013 (178k) and 2012 (296k) achieved. That’s a sobering comparison considering “Walking” is distributed in over 125 markets around the world within 24 hours of its U.S. launch by Fox International Channels specifically to thwart piracy.
While the peer-to-peer copyright infringement was primarily here in the U.S. according to Excipio, Australia, United Kingdom, Brazil and Canada rounded out the top five of the worst offenders around the globe.
Massive as the series’ piracy growth is, “Walking” is still a close second to U.S. TV’s reigning piracy king: “Game of Thrones.” Its fourth season premiere and finale registered 1.86 million and 1.46 million downloaders in the first 24 hours earlier this year.
But zombies are a featured attraction among infringers. Last month, the Syfy series “Z Nation” came out of nowhere to premiere to over 300,000 IP addresses.