The Most Pirated TV Shows Of 2013 – And How Many People Watched Them During Their US Broadcast

the pirates aardman film stillWith a few days left to go the figures can’t be final but TorrentFreak have released their annual countdown of the most pirated TV shows.

I think you’d probably be able to guess the top three – but would you get them in the right order?

The third most pirated show was The Walking Dead, clocking up 3,600,000 downloads, worldwide. This is against US TV viewing figures of 16,110,000. It would seem likely that more people saw this show legally than illegally.

In second place is Breaking Bad, with 4,200,000 downloads against 10,280,000 viewers on US TV. I wonder what figures Netflix pulled here in the UK, and what impact their brilliant scheme – putting episodes up as quickly as possible after their US airing – had on the thievery.

The most pirated show was Game of Thrones, reaching 5,900,000 downloads. This is notable as it’s a bigger number than the show’s US TV viewership of 5,500,000. Of course, HBO’s subscription status would have something to do with this, as well as different air dates being set in different countries.

In any case, that’s a lot of people stealing a lot of TV. It remains to be seen what impact this will have on the industry, but I’ve already seen the music business seize up and nosedive into bland, safe-bet dollar-farming.

Here’s the full top ten. Shame on the crooks for stealing any of these – or indeed, anything else. No one is entitled to watch a TV show. It’s not a basic human right. If one wants to live in a capitalist culture, they ought to pay their way. Those are the rules.

10. Arrow – 2,200,000 downloads

9. Vikings – 2,300,000 downloads

8. Homeland – 2,400,000 downloads

7. Suits – 2,600,000 downloads

6. How I Met Your Mother – 3,000,000 downloads

5. Dexter – 3,100,000 downloads

4. Big Bang Theory – 3,400,000 downloads

3. The Walking Dead – 3,600,000 downloads

2. Breaking Bad – 4,200,000 downloads

1. Game of Thrones – 5,900,000 downloads

Seems to suggest a few things about the pirate demo, that little list. They’re rather predictable, for one thing.

Not accounted for are shows watched via illegal streaming services. Those seem to be even more popular with the teenagers I know, and I wonder what that data would do to this list…?

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