Game of Thrones has been a very popular programme, and a great success for broadcasters like HBO and Sky who can use it as a marketing tool to bring in new subscribers. But it's also very popular with people who don't want to pay for it, and has taken the crown of 'most pirated TV programme' for the past several years. Unsurprisingly the eighth series is turning out to be no different, especially if the premiere episode is anything to go by.
It didn't take very long for the first episode to hit torrent sites, though TorrentFreak pointed out that they don't seem to have been sourced from the AT&T cock-up - which is a little bizarre. Still at the time of writing there are tens of thousands of people sharing the episode on The Pirate Bay, with TorrentFreak claiming it went as high as 120,000 over the course of yesterday. On top of that, at the time of writing four of the five most popular Pirate Bay torrents are various versions of the new episode.
The fifth is M Night Shymalan's Glass for some reason. That must have just arrived on digital platforms, I guess.
Of course that's only BitTorrent traffic on one popular torrenting site, and as we've seen the past few years there are a lot more popular ways for people to freely access content they'd normally have to pay for. Streaming is the big one, and it makes sense that even more people will have found way to watch the new Game of Thrones episode without having to download the whole file. So these figures we have are just a small sample, and you can be there are a lot more people who will be watching the series without giving any of their money to Sky or HBO.
Sorry, The Walking Dead, you had your chance to rise to the top of the yearly charts. Now it looks like you'll be bumped back down to second place.