A new list has come out of the most pirated television programs of 2013, and the show that came in at No. 1 is probably not much of a surprise.
Viewers are so eager to watch the villainy on HBO’s fantasy “Game of Thrones” that they are willing to engage in piracy, making the drama the most pirated TV show of the year, reports The New York Times’ ArtsBeat.
According to the list compiled by TorrentFreak.com, the second-most-pirated TV show was AMC’s “Breaking Bad.” While “Game of Thrones” had 5.9 million illegal downloads, “Breaking Bad” generated 4.2 million.
"Game of Thrones" is one of only a few shows for which the number of illegal downloads, 5.9 million, exceeds the estimated total viewership for the show, 5.5 million. Another show with that distinction is "Dexter," with 3.1 million downloads and 2.8 million viewers.
AMC’s “The Walking Dead” was in third place, with 3.6 million illegal downloads. Other shows placing in the top 10 include CBS’s “The Big Bang Theory” and “How I Met Your Mother,” Showtime’s “Homeland" and the CW series "Arrow.”
Time Warner chief Jeffrey Bewkes, whose company owns HBO, had a surprising comment earlier this year about the appeal of "Game of Thrones" to pirates, saying in response to news that the show was among the most pirated on television, "That’s better than an Emmy," as we reported back in August.
Here’s the TorrentFreak Top 10, with the estimated number of downloads followed by estimated total U.S. viewership:
1. Game of Thrones: 5.9 million downloads; 5.5 million viewers
2. Breaking Bad: 4.2 million downloads; 10.3 million viewers
3. The Walking Dead: 3.6 million downloads; 16.1 million viewers
4. The Big Bang Theory: 3.4 million downloads, 20.4 million viewers
5. Dexter: 3.1 million downloads, 2.8 million viewers
6. How I Met Your Mother: 3.0 million downloads, 9.4 million viewers
7. Suits: 2.6 million downloads, 3.5 million viewers
8. Homeland: 2.40 million downloads, 2.38 million viewers
9. Vikings: 2.3 million downloads, 6.0 million viewers
10. Arrow: 2.2 million downloads, 3.2 million viewers