HBO's Game of Thrones remained a massive hit in 2017 and is still the biggest show on the planet. With that, though, the beloved fantasy series has claimed a record that HBO would rather not have. For the sixth year in a row, Game of Thrones is the most pirated show, according to a new report.
Unfortunately for HBO, quite a few people really want to watch Game of Thrones that just don't want to pay for it. Not only is the series incredibly popular, but because HBO is a premium cable channel, there's no way to watch it unless you pay for HBO specifically through your cable provider, or if you have a subscription to HBO Now. That being the case, the Game of Thrones season 7 finale managed to be the most pirated TV episode of 2017, with 400,000 people sharing the episode across several torrents at its peak.
This number isn't actually indicative of just how many people watched Game of Thrones illegally in 2017. The numbers used in this report, which were mostly from BitTorrent data, don't take into account those who streamed the episode illegally online, via various platforms. Those numbers are very hard to track, but these BitTorrent numbers do give an idea of just how popular Game of Thrones is in general. However, as noted in the report, BitTorrent, specifically, only makes up a very small portion of internet piracy for TV shows.
Game of Thrones had the most pirated TV episode in 2017, but plenty of other very popular shows were plagued by illegal torrenting this year. AMC's The Walking dead placed number two on the list, with The CW's The Flash, The Big Bang Theory and Rick and Morty, which had its long-awaited third season finally debut this year, rounding out the top five. The anticipation of Rick and Morty season 3 likely led to the high piracy numbers. This report doesn't provide specific numbers for the rest of the shows on the list.
Other shows that cracked the top 10 this year include Prison Break, which enjoyed a popular revival season, Sherlock and another Arrowverse show, with Arrow also cracking the list. TorrentFreak notes that they didn't provide download estimates this year, as the numbers have become harder to track in recent years. Game of Thrones isn't likely to return until 2019 for what will be its final season, but you can bet it will once again make the list when it does come back. You can check out the full list of the top 10 most pirated TV shows of 2017 for yourself below, which is based on single episodes and not the series overall, courtesy of Torrent Freak, for yourself below.
Most Pirated TV Shows of 2017
1. Game of Thrones
2. The Walking Dead
3. The Flash
4. The Big Bang Theory
5. Rick and Morty
6. Prison Break