The hit HBO series Game of Thrones has become one the most pirated TV shows ever, with over 1 million illegal downloads of an episode in one day alone.
Phoenix, AZ -- (SBWIRE) -- 01/08/2014 -- HBO itself said it wasn't altogether surprised at the enormous level of piracy, given the success of the series and because the broadcaster is a subscription service, pushing those who don't have it to search elsewhere -- in the DVD store or, increasingly, online -- for episodes.
Game of Thrones is a fantasy drama that premièred in the United States in April 2011 and is now in it’s forth series. In its second series, it topped the most torrented shows, with more illegal downloads than US TV viewers, according to TorrentFreak, which tracks such illegal downloads. Torrents allow web users to download large media files in a short time and without using a lot of data.
In 2013, Game of Thrones was illegally downloaded 5.9 million times, according to TorrentFreak’s data. That compares with US TV viewership of 5.5 million. It was followed in the 2013 illegal download results by the equally popular series Breaking Bad and The Walking Dead, both of which had less than half of illegal downloads compared to US TV viewership.
HBO said it expects some level of piracy when a show is a hit, and that it would always be around. In a peculiar way, it said, the illegal downloads were a “compliment” to the show’s success, a kind of cyber word-of-mouth, even if it is costing the company in lost DVD sales and subscriptions.
However, downloads of media don't always have to be illegal. Synchronized Marketing Solutions is one company that provides people with options of watching Game of Thrones online legally. At the company's watchgameofthronesonlines.com, there's a number of streaming services to choose from where one can keep up with the latest episodes.
The website's mission is to provide legal online ways of streaming Game of Thrones so people can avoid those that might land them in trouble.
A company spokesperson for Synchronized Marketing Solutions asked, "Why is Game Of Thrones the most pirated TV show right now?" and reasoned it was a combination of the hugely successful series and the availability of websites where episodes can be illegally downloaded.
Authorities worldwide continue their battle to fight piracy of all media, calling it outright "theft" of material that costs jobs and results in lost profits, and may even contribute -- as the US Justice Department claims -- to the operations of criminal gangs.
It therefore makes sense, if one wants to avoid prosecution and possible jail time or a hefty fine, to watch game of thrones online legally.
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