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'Game of Thrones' has previously been the most-pirated TV show in the world, and things haven't improved much for the series seven premiere.

The first episode of the latest series was illegally watched more than 90 million times in three days, according to piracy monitoring firm MUSO. However, while the scale of the problem hasn't changed, the pirates' methods have.

Just shy of 78 million of these views came from illegal streaming portals, with 'torrents' (i.e. illegally shared downloads) accounting for just over 8 million views. Almost 5 million views were from sites offering direct downloads, while over half a million views were from private torrent networks.

Previously, torrents were the medium of choice for pirates. But these figures show they're increasingly favouring illegal streams over downloads.

The UK was responsible for 6.2 million of these views, putting it second behind the USA's 15 million.

According to MUSO, these figures are par for the course for a show like 'Game of Thrones'.

"There is no denying that these figures are huge, so they're likely to raise more than a few eyebrows in the mainstream industry, but it's in line with the sort of scale we see across piracy sites and should be looked at objectively," said MUSO CEO Andy Chatterley.

"What we're seeing here isn't just P2P [peer-to-peer] torrent downloads but unauthorised streams and every type of piracy around the premiere. This is the total audience picture, which is usually unreported."

However, MUSO's figures don't include illegal streams and torrents from China, so the actual figures are likely to be higher.

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