The fifth season of 'Game of Thrones' has broken records in terms of viewing figures. But it has also done so in terms of piracy. We already knew it was the most-pirated TV show of last year (a title it's held for three years in a row now), but now we know the full scale of the problem courtesy of figures from media intelligence firm Tru Optik.
With the four episodes that leaked before the season debut and the 'A Day in the Life' documentary, this series of the show has been illegally downloaded 32 million times across 18 million IP addresses. And it's only been on a week.
The first episode alone was downloaded over 13 million times.
The 720p HD version was the most popular, most probably because it would have the best ratio of picture quality to file size. 43.5 per cent of illegal downloaders opted for it, followed by the 480p version (35.1 per cent) and the 1080p copy (31.4 per cent).
The USA was the top country in terms of illegal downloaders, with more than 10 per cent. France was next, then Brazil, China, Russia, UK, India, Canada, Australia and Spain.
Tru Optik's data covers both public and private BitTorrent trackers. The firm noted that on the plus side, it shows there are a lot of potential legal viewers for HBO.
"In the US alone, nearly one million consumers downloaded Episode 1, which translates to $44 million in unmonetized demand potential if each of these viewers subscribed to HBO Now for the three-month duration of GoT season five," it said in a statement.
"Many of these viewers are prime prospects for unbundled services like HBO Now."
HBO Now was recently unveiled as the US broadcaster's streaming service.