Why 'Game of Thrones' is the most pirated TV show

Credit: flickr/Master Magnius

Is the "most pirated TV show" award as satisfying as an Emmy? Game of Thrones may find out.

Wildly popular, Game of Thrones became another hot HBO property that stirs interest, like The Sopranos back in the day. But when Tony enjoyed the Bada Bing Club, pirating TV was tough. Now, one Thrones episode was downloaded over 2.5 million times – in one day.

HBO restricts streaming to HBO Go, which requires a cable subscription. Season 2, now running, is not on iTunes or Hulu. Pirates, always eager to justify thievery, point to HBO's lock-down as reason for piracy. But non-pirate customers are begging for ways to legally watch Game of Thrones without having to wait for months for the DVDs. It doesn't help that HBO co-president Eric Kessler said Internet streaming TV is a fad. Bingo! Pirate justification.

Curse you, HBO

why they don’t sell individual episodes is beyond me.

Josh_47ra on forbes.com

You have to realize, HBO's customers are not the subscribers. HBO's customers are cable companies.

sp332 on news.ycombinator.com

Contrast that with Mad Men, which gets released to iTunes and Amazon VOD literally the day after it airs on television.

Brett on forbes.com

Pirating is a clue

“Piracy is the result of bad service,” said Gabe Newell. I think that Gabe and Valve are doing pretty well with how they handle their company.

Sammy Antoinette on forbes.com

I would pay practically ANY amount for movies & shows I want to see. I live in the EU and you have to struggle to see shows like Game of Thrones legally (basically, fly to the US or wait forever).

tbuyben2 on news.ycombinator.com

Well, this is actually more evidence that 'piracy' does NOT negatively affect sales. Although the story above says that "Game of Thrones is the most pirated show of 2012" it's interesting to note that the Game of Thrones S1 DVD is at number 10 in Amazon DVD chart (and actually has gone UP in places recently)

GledUK on disgitalspy.com

I know a non-trivial number of people who torrented every episode of the first season… and ordered the DVDs as soon as they went up on Amazon.

Pierce Nichols on forbes.com


Internet streaming may be the future, but it won't be the present until it gets a lot more expensive.

rprasad on news.ycombinator.com

When it comes on to DVD a lot of the people who pirated the show will be buying the box sets and any other related tat they may put on sale.

whip on digitalspy.com

HBO is owned by Time Warner. That's why they say these crazy things and make their content so hard for people to view. Time Warner wants to protect their cable business at all costs.

pwthornton on news.ycombinator.com

Answer in a comment: if you could pay $3 for each Game of Thrones episode from this season on iTunes the day after it airs, would you pony up?

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