×

‘Game of Thrones’ Punches Up New Piracy Record with 3.5 Million Downloads

Game of Thrones,” HBO’s immensely popular series on both on TV and on piracy networks, has again set a new benchmark for illicit downloads in a 24-hour period — despite the premium cabler’s recent launch of a broadband-only service in the U.S.

The sixth episode of “GoT” season five notched 3.5 million individual users on peer-to-peer file-sharing sites, according to piracy-tracking firm Excipio. The previous record was held by episode 5 of the current season of “Game of Thrones,” which reached 3.22 million in the 24-hour period after it hit piracy sites.

The snowballing “Game of Thrones” piracy comes after the net launched HBO Now, a $15-per-month Internet service that doesn’t require a pay-TV subscription, on Apple TV and with Cablevision. Of course, HBO Now is available only in the U.S.

What’s particularly attractive about “Game of Thrones” to digital pirates? For one thing, the premium cabler’s series was victimized by an early leak of episodes 1-4 of season 5, which apparently were ripped from a press screener and uploaded to torrent sites nearly a full day before the April 12 premiere.

It’s worth noting that the piracy stats Excipio tracks are only for P2P file-sharing sites, so those exclude piracy-streaming sites. That means the number of illicit viewers is likely far higher than the 3.5 million registered so far.

See More: HBO to Stop Issuing Overnight TV Ratings in Favor of Live Plus 7

Popular on Variety

More Digital

  • T.J. Dillashaw, right, kicks Cody Garbrandt

    Disney Plans UFC Broadcast for FX

    UFC matches will return to FX  – but not on a permanent basis. ESPN has been showing preliminary bouts to UFC pay-per-view events for the last while on ESPN and ESPN2, and then showing the main card on its ESPN+ subscription video service. In September, the early lineup will air on FX, which the UFC [...]

  • fundo logo

    Google‘s Area 120 Is Testing Fundo, a Crowdfunding Service for Creators (EXCLUSIVE)

    Google’s skunkworks lab Area 120 has been quietly testing an events-centric crowdfunding service for YouTubers, Variety has learned. Called Fundo, the service allows creators to invite their fans to virtual meet & greet sessions and other paid online events. A Google spokesperson confirmed the testing in a statement provided to Variety: “One of the many [...]

  • Telling Lies - Logan Marshall-Green

    Sam Barlow's 'Telling Lies' Government-Surveillance Thriller Game Sets Release Date

    After more than two years in the works, “Telling Lies” — the investigative thriller from acclaimed game creator Sam Barlow — is ready to take the stage. The game, produced with and released by Annapurna Interactive, will be available next Friday, Aug. 23, via Steam and Apple’s Mac and iOS app stores. “Telling Lies” will [...]

  • YouTube logo

    YouTube Will Stop Letting Copyright Holders Seize Revenue via Manual Claims on Very Short Music Clips

    YouTube is pushing back against overzealous copyright policing by music companies. Starting in mid-September, the video giant will forbid copyright holders from making manual claims to commandeer revenue generated by YouTube videos that include very short music clips (e.g., five seconds of a song) or “unintentional” music (like music from passing cars). “One concerning trend [...]

  • Chelsea Handler memoir book buy online

    Chelsea Handler Bonds With Alexa in iHeartRadio Smart Speaker Promo

    iHeartRadio has teamed up with Amazon to promote Chelsea Handler’s podcast “Life Will Be The Death Of Me.” Beginning this Thursday, users of Amazon’s Echo smart speaker and other devices with Alexa built-in can opt to get their mornings started with Handler cracking jokes and exchanging banter with the smart assistant. Users simply have to [...]

  • David Messinger, Activision Blizzard

    Activision Blizzard Hires CAA Veteran David Messinger as CMO

    Activision Blizzard tapped David Messinger, a former 15-plus-year veteran of CAA, as its first corporate-wide chief marketing officer. Messinger, based in Santa Monica, reports to Coddy Johnson, Activision Blizzard’s president and COO. It’s the first time the video-game company has appointed a CMO who will oversee the global marketing operations across all of Activision Blizzard [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content