Illegal downloading of television shows is now the fastest-growing area of piracy, ahead of movies and computer software, according to data from BayTSP, which monitors online piracy of intellectual property.
The company, which began tracking TV piracy about four months ago, said the number of shows available illegally online has risen by at least 20 percent in that time.
That growth comes both from the availability of additional copies of the most popular shows and from new content coming online for the first time, such as BBC programming.
TV shows typically appear online within a few hours of being broadcast. In some cases, hackers intercept the satellite feeds of shows to pirate them and offer them before they are even shown, said Mark Ishikawa, CEO of BayTSP.
Some of the increase stems from piracy of TV shows formatted specifically for the iPod, he said. “There is a growing demand for stuff for the iPod,” Mr. Ishikawa said. “We are seeing the amount of supply increase over the past three months. … There are software tools online where you can turn any TV show online into an iPod show.”
The company said its list of the top 10 pirated TV shows is based on the number of unique files available for download on the FastTrack, eDonkey and BitTorrent file sharing networks.
Top 10 Pirated Tv Shows Online
1. “Top Gear”
2. “Desperate Housewives”
3. “South Park”
4. “The Simpsons”
6. “CSI: Miami”
8. “American Dad”
10. “Prison Break”
Rankings are as of