Top 10 Pirated TV Shows of 2014: ‘Game of Thrones,’ ‘Walking Dead’ Lead List

HBO’s “Game of Thrones” and AMC’s zombie splatterfest “The Walking Dead” were the two most-pirated TV shows worldwide in 2014 by a sizable margin, with episodes of each cable series downloaded via torrent networks about 48 million times last year.

The data comes from piracy-tracking firm Excipio, which analyzed activity for the period between Jan. 1 and Dec. 24, 2014. Excipio provided the report exclusively to Variety.

It’s no surprise “Game of Thrones” took 2014’s TV piracy crown, as the HBO epic has been a perennial favorite among digital pirates. The show’s season four premiere in April hit record levels of torrent downloads. While HBO is concerned about piracy, Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes has pointed to promotional upside of the phenomenon; in 2013, he quipped that piracy of “Thrones” was “better than an Emmy” as far as generating buzz.

Meanwhile, three shows from youth-skewing CW — “Arrow,” “The Vampire Diaries” and “Supernatural” — also were popular among pirates. Top-rated broadcast shows were also in the mix, led by CBS’s “The Big Bang Theory,” with 33.4 million pirated downloads for the year.

Among the top 10 pirated TV shows of the year, Brazil was home to the largest number of total downloads (28.4 million overall), followed by Russia (28.1 million), India (16 million), Australia (15.4 million), China (14.9 million) and the U.S. (14.4 million), according to Excipio. That suggests piracy in many territories is fueled by the fact that current American television shows aren’t available through legal channels.

Here are the top 10 pirated TV shows of last year, ranked by number of worldwide torrent downloads:

1. “Game of Thrones”: 48.369 million (HBO)
2. “The Walking Dead”: 47.642 million (AMC)
3. “The Big Bang Theory”: 33.431 million (CBS)
4. “Arrow”: 29.296 million (CW)
5. “The Vampire Diaries”: 22.921 million (CW)
6. “Supernatural”: 21.201 million (CW)
7. “How I Met Your Mother”: 20.282 million (CBS)
8. “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.”: 16.334 million (ABC)
9. “Suits”: 14.910 million (USA Network)
10. “The Blacklist”: 14.211 million (NBC)

More TV

  • France fans with painted facesFrance v

    France Celebrates Soccer World Cup Triumph

    HBO’s “Game of Thrones” and AMC’s zombie splatterfest “The Walking Dead” were the two most-pirated TV shows worldwide in 2014 by a sizable margin, with episodes of each cable series downloaded via torrent networks about 48 million times last year. The data comes from piracy-tracking firm Excipio, which analyzed activity for the period between Jan. 1 […]

  • France goalkeeper Hugo Lloris catches the

    France vs Croatia World Cup Live Stream: How to Watch

    HBO’s “Game of Thrones” and AMC’s zombie splatterfest “The Walking Dead” were the two most-pirated TV shows worldwide in 2014 by a sizable margin, with episodes of each cable series downloaded via torrent networks about 48 million times last year. The data comes from piracy-tracking firm Excipio, which analyzed activity for the period between Jan. 1 […]

  • Who Is America Review

    TV Review: Sacha Baron Cohen's 'Who Is America?'

    HBO’s “Game of Thrones” and AMC’s zombie splatterfest “The Walking Dead” were the two most-pirated TV shows worldwide in 2014 by a sizable margin, with episodes of each cable series downloaded via torrent networks about 48 million times last year. The data comes from piracy-tracking firm Excipio, which analyzed activity for the period between Jan. 1 […]

  • Lily Collins, Dominic West, David Oyelowo

    'Les Miserables’ First Look: Lily Collins, Dominic West in BBC, PBS Masterpiece Adaptation

    HBO’s “Game of Thrones” and AMC’s zombie splatterfest “The Walking Dead” were the two most-pirated TV shows worldwide in 2014 by a sizable margin, with episodes of each cable series downloaded via torrent networks about 48 million times last year. The data comes from piracy-tracking firm Excipio, which analyzed activity for the period between Jan. 1 […]

  • Ricky Martin Versace American Crime Story

    Ricky Martin Signs With Maverick Management

    HBO’s “Game of Thrones” and AMC’s zombie splatterfest “The Walking Dead” were the two most-pirated TV shows worldwide in 2014 by a sizable margin, with episodes of each cable series downloaded via torrent networks about 48 million times last year. The data comes from piracy-tracking firm Excipio, which analyzed activity for the period between Jan. 1 […]

  • Harry Kane of England celebrates scoring

    Belgium vs England World Cup Live Stream: How to Watch

    HBO’s “Game of Thrones” and AMC’s zombie splatterfest “The Walking Dead” were the two most-pirated TV shows worldwide in 2014 by a sizable margin, with episodes of each cable series downloaded via torrent networks about 48 million times last year. The data comes from piracy-tracking firm Excipio, which analyzed activity for the period between Jan. 1 […]

  • The Crown Season 2

    Storming the Emmys: Netflix, Amazon and Hulu Edge Out Networks

    HBO’s “Game of Thrones” and AMC’s zombie splatterfest “The Walking Dead” were the two most-pirated TV shows worldwide in 2014 by a sizable margin, with episodes of each cable series downloaded via torrent networks about 48 million times last year. The data comes from piracy-tracking firm Excipio, which analyzed activity for the period between Jan. 1 […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content