Game of Thrones season 7 is finally here and, not surprisingly, it is a huge hit for HBO so far. The network had absolutely massive ratings for the Game of Thrones Season 7 premiere, shattering records and was watched a reported 16 million times across all of their platforms. The fantasy series is as popular as ever. Especially with those who want to watch the show illegally but don't want to pay for it.

According to a recent report from Business Insider, the Game of Thrones Season 7 premiere was pirated a staggering 90 million times. That is a truly monstrous number and one that is sure to get the attention of HBO and other networks. The numbers were compiled by MUSO, which describes itself as "world's largest database of metadata on real-time behavior across the piracy market." Here is how they arrived at the 90 million figure.

"Game of Thrones season 7 episode 1 was streamed 77.9 million times, torrented on public trackers 8.3 million times, directly downloaded 4.9 million times, and torrented on private trackers 500,000 times."

The largest number of pirates chose to stream the Game of Thrones season 7 premiere online, which makes sense. Streaming is the easiest way for most people to watch stuff these days, be it through proper channels or pirating. As thrilled as HBO is with the huge ratings that Game of Thrones is getting, they have to be just as concerned about these big numbers. This is also not the first time that it has been reported that Game of Thrones is easily one of the most pirated shows around. Here is a little more insight that MUSO had to offer about the numbers.

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

Even with the piracy, Game of Thrones is the kind of show that any network would kill to have. That is why HBO is currently developing four different Game of Thrones spin-offs. Not all of them are expected to air, but with Game of Thrones season 8 set to be the last in the series, HBO is going to want to continue the show somehow. Plus, both season 7 and season 8 of Game of Thrones are shorter than the usual 10 episodes. Game of Thrones Season 8 is only going to have six episodes, but the episodes may be a lot longer than we're used to, which would help make up for it. Just longer episodes for people to pirate.

Ryan Scott at TVweb
Ryan Scott