The episode, the fifth installment of season 4 of the show based on the comic book franchise, apparently hit peer-to-peer download sites around 9 p.m. ET on Sunday.
The “Arrow” episode, titled “Haunted,” features a special appearance by DC Comics character John Constantine (played by Matt Ryan from the canceled NBC show). Per the CW’s description for the segment, when things take a turn for the worse with Sara, Oliver calls in a favor from “an old friend who deals in the mystical, John Constantine.”
Since leaking to piracy sites, the episode was downloaded 11,677 times through 11:15 a.m. ET Monday, according to piracy-tracking firm Excipio. Sci-fi and fantasy fare like “Arrow” is popular among digital pirates, appealing to the subculture’s typical young-male profile.
The “Arrow” leak may or may not have an impact on CW ratings, but in any event it does not currently hold a candle to HBO’s “Game of Thrones” on the piracy front. “GoT” holds the record for the most-pirated episode in a 24-hour window, with 3.2 million for a season 5 airing this year according to Excipio. That came after “Game of Thrones” was stung by an unusually broad leak of the season’s first four episodes in April.
The copy of the “Arrow” episode appears to have been ripped from a DVD screener released by Warner Bros. Television, which produces the show.
“Arrow,” created by Marc Guggenheim, Andrew Kreisberg and Greg Berlanti, has produced reliable ratings for the CW, with the Oct. 7 premiere of season 4 up in the demo over last year.