Sunday night’s season four finale of HBO’s “Game of Thrones” has already earned the distinction of being the most pirated program in history.
Internet tracking site TorrentFreak reports that the episode was downloaded roughly 1.5 million times in the twelve hours after the show went to air.
That number is expected to swell to up to 7.5 million over the next few weeks – around equal to the 7.1 million people who tuned in for the live broadcast on HBO. The United States, the United Kingdom, Canada and Australia are the biggest downloaders.
In Australia in particular, a whopping 2.2% of the population (around 500,000 people) reportedly downloaded each episode. That’s equal to the 500,000 Australians who watch each episode via the only presently legal option available there – a paid Foxtel subscription starting at $35/month.
Foxtel has suffered lot of backlash in recent months following an exclusivity arrangement the cable company made with HBO which forced the show off legal download sites like iTunes which previously made episodes of the show available as it aired.