Game of Thrones season six: 1 million illegal downloads within hours
The first episode of the new season of Game of Thrones was illegally downloaded a million times in half a day.
For the last couple of years Game of Thrones has been the most pirated TV series, according to Torrent Freak, a publication that covers file sharing and copyright. With 200,000 BitTorrent users sharing the episode the morning after it aired, the trend will probably continue.
Close to 50 per cent of the illegally downloaded copies were in HD.
Despite the high volume of downloads, the new episode failed to beat the record set by the last episode of season five.
The top countries to download the episode of Game of Thrones were Australia, India, the US and the UK. The UK was responsible for 6.9 per cent of the downloads, compared with 12.5 per cent coming from Australia.
The UK is probably one of the worst offenders, as this data was taken in the hours after the show first aired at 2 am, and doesn't take into account the downloads that happened throughout the next day.
According to Torrent Freak, the download numbers are higher than those for any recently released TV shows. But the 1 million downloads in half a day doesn't come close to the 1.5 million of the last episode of season five.
Is the new Game of Thrones season less popular?
It may come as a surprise that the latest Game of Thrones episode didn't smash season five's record, given the Jon Snow cliffhanger and audience anticipation.
More people may have actually watched the season premiere, but for the first time they could watch it free on HBO. The US network behind the TV series based on George RR Martin's novels let non-subscribers watch the debut for no cost this weekend, which may have deterred would-be pirates. HBO is yet to release viewing figures for the Game of Thrones premiere.