The third-season finale of "Game of Thrones," which fell just short of a ratings record for HBO, did break records, as it turns out. The Hollywood Reporter’s Hollywood, Esq., reports that the episode broke records for piracy.
In the immediate aftermath of the season finale, the episode set a record for illegal downloads, with TorrentFreak reporting that 170,000 simultaneous shares on BitTorrent took place after the episode aired on HBO.
As previously reported, the episode was a huge ratings draw, but fell short of a record among HBO viewers. The finale brought in 5.4 million viewers, while the sixth episode of the current season delivered 5.5 million viewers.
In the 24-hour period after the finale aired on HBO, more than 1 million people downloaded the show, more than all previous records for a TV series, THR notes.
“Piracy is hardly a new development for ‘Game of Thrones,’” the report adds. “TorrentFreak previously reported that the series topped all other pirated TV shows in 2012, hitting 4.28 million downloads with one episode. ‘Game of Thrones’ has since bested that record with the recent season premiere.”
HBO, meanwhile, continues to attract a massive audience for the show. “The network confirmed Monday that, with an average 13.6 million viewers for every episode, ‘Game of Thrones’ has topped ‘True Blood’ to become HBO’s most-watched series currently on-air,” THR notes. “It ranks behind only ‘The Sopranos’ as its most-watched original series ever.”