HBO’s Game of Thrones earned big ratings in its second season, averaging 10.4 million viewers across all legitimate media platforms. That number gets even better when you factor in the illegitimate platforms: According to a study by TorrentFreak, the boobs-’n-battle fantasy epic was the most pirated TV show of the spring season, averaging nearly 4 million illegal downloads per episode. It’s not surprising news, considering that Thrones was at the center of the growth of Take My Money HBO, a charming movement which operates under the assumption that a kamillion-dollar television corporation functions on the same basic economic principles as the pop-punk band you loved in freshman year.
How I Met Your Mother and The Big Bang Theory occupy the second and third slots on the list, with both averaging about 2.8 million illegal downloads per episode. CBS has a famous aversion to making their content readily available online, and since both shows have audiences that skew younger/nerdier than their network’s other sitcoms, it makes sense that they would feel the piracy crunch. House comes in at No. 4 with an average of 2.3 million downloads, a drop in the bucket when you consider that Fox’s dearly-departed doctor show is (by some metrics) the most popular show in the world.
The biggest loser in the top 10 is the CW’s Supernatural, which TorrentFreak claims averages 1.5 million illegal downloads per episode — the show only averages about 1.8 million viewers in legit Nielsen ratings. So don’t be surprised if the Winchester Brothers start investigating exciting consumer product-related mysteries in season 8. “Oh no, Dean, we’re trapped inside of a haunted Best Buy! And there’s a ghost trapped inside of this Samsung 3D™ HD TV!” “Don’t worry, Sam, I bought us two orders of the Colonel’s Crispy Strips™ from our local KFC, now with Kentucky Hot™ Sauce™!”
Check out the full list of the most pirated shows on TV at TorrentFreak.
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