Game of Thrones Purple Wedding sets new piracy record
By Lightbringer on in News.

Social media wasn’t the only thing buzzing after Sunday’s new episode of Game of Thrones. Torrent Freak has reported that The Lion and the Rose broke the record for the largest BitTorrent swarm ever, as people from all over the world clamored to see what all of the fuss was about.

The episode was downloaded by roughly 1.5 million people in its first day of release, but even more impressively, had close to 200,000 people sharing a single file a few hours after it appeared online.

Torrent Freak explains, “the tracker reported that 193,418 people where sharing one single torrent. 145,594 had a complete copy of the episode and continued to upload, while 47,824 were still downloading the file. These are unprecedented numbers – never before have 193,418 people shared a single file simultaneously.”

The Lion and the Rose stole the throne from, well, themselves. The previous record was held by the finale of Game of Thrones Season 3, with 171,527 people sharing on a single tracker. The premiere of Season 4 garnered about 140,000.

Torrent Freak goes on to say that with these numbers it is likely that Game of Thrones will be crowned the most downloaded TV show at the end of the year, and it’s probable that the record will be broken again in the coming weeks, as unauthorized downloads generally increase throughout the season.

Of course we know that the high ups at HBO and Time Warner aren’t at all concerned with the amount of piracy. In a quarterly earnings call last year CEO Jeff Bewkes was quoted saying, “If you go around the world, I think you’re right, Game of Thrones is the most pirated show in the world. Well, you know, that’s better than an Emmy.”


45 Comments

  1. GeekFurious
    Posted April 16, 2014 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

    It’s better than an Emmy until you win an Emmy, Jeff.

  2. A
    Posted April 16, 2014 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

    Yay Piracy!!

  3. Summer
    Posted April 16, 2014 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

    I will take what is mine, I will pay the iron price.

    And then I will pay the gold price as soon as all seasons are released in a BluRay collector’s box :)

  4. jentario
    Posted April 16, 2014 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

    Happy birthday, Rygar! And this is such fitting news

  5. SHMF
    Posted April 16, 2014 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

    Conspiracy theory alert!

    So they made HBO free for pretty much all cable providers last week … while essentially breaking HBO Go for two hours.

    This week they massively boosted HBO Go servers while HBO returned to subscription only.

    Methinks they wanted to test the waters to see what was more likely driving piracy.

  6. Vanessa
    Posted April 16, 2014 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

    he should defenetly win an emmy or a golden globe

  7. Blackfish
    Posted April 16, 2014 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

    Damn Ironborns paying the iron price, I didn’t realize Balon Greyjoy had so many bannermen. Its ok the North Remembers, the Starks and Tullys will deal with them after the Lannisters.

    Family, Duty, Honor.

  8. Dan
    Posted April 16, 2014 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

    I have to say that it is extremely annoying that a bunch of the text on the right hand side of the screen doesn’t show on my phone with the new site design.

  9. Dan
    Posted April 16, 2014 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

    Why is there no ability to zoom in or out anymore?

  10. Arik
    Posted April 16, 2014 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

    Dan:
    Why is there no ability to zoom in or out anymore?

    since the new design.. very annoying !

  11. GeekFurious
    Posted April 16, 2014 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

    SHMF:
    Conspiracy theory alert!

    So they made HBO free for pretty much all cable providers last week … while essentially breaking HBO Go for two hours.

    This week they massively boosted HBO Go servers while HBO returned to subscription only.

    Methinks they wanted to test the waters to see what was more likely driving piracy.

    How is that a conspiracy? It sounds prudent.

  12. Zack
    Posted April 16, 2014 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

    I think they realize that pirates are just avid fans, at the core of it.

    Not gonna lie, I have been among the numbers this year. But that’s just cause times are rough. I’ve bought the previous season Blu-rays, some shirts and other merch, and subscribed to HBO for years on end until fairly recently. So I download because I don’t want to miss out and when things turn around I’ll join back up with the paying customers, gladly.

    (And, of course this doesn’t need to be said probably, but the moment HBO offers HBOGO without requiring a cable subscription, I would have it Day 1)

  13. Delta1212
    Posted April 16, 2014 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

    GeekFurious,

    Although they’d need more than one data point each for it to be of much use, so I don’t know that that’s really what they were going for.

  14. Turncloak
    Posted April 16, 2014 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

    If only there was a way for HBO to make revenue through online subscriptions without cable attachment. Crazy talk, I know

  15. GeekFurious
    Posted April 16, 2014 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

    Here is the reason why HBO isn’t the least bit worried about pirates, and it DOES NOT translate to network TV.

    HBO makes its money on subscriptions. But it makes even more money on bundle plans that pay-tv providers create. Why are bundles better than straight up subscriptions? Because they’re usually held for a WHOLE YEAR. And so the most important number for HBO is people who bundle because of GOT. Those people are the reason the show will go on to finish this story. Because they are strict investors in its continuation and that of OTHER HBO programs. And pirates, HBOGO “thieves”, and people who watch via any other means, just inflate the intrinsic value of GAME OF THRONES and HBO to those willing to buy into bundles.

    Turncloak:
    If only there was a way for HBO to make revenue through online subscriptions without cable attachment. Crazy talk, I know

    There is… but it would enrage providers who make a ton of money on bundling plans. And so they would likely promote Showtime instead. HBO has likely crunched the numbers and found that the billions they generate in revenue per year via bundles will not be offset by individual HBOGO subscriptions any time soon.

  16. Hoyti Von Totiy
    Posted April 16, 2014 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

    I have HBO but i cant with for a couple of hours to episode to air over here with a few hours of delay so i pay the iron price.

  17. Clob
    Posted April 16, 2014 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

    Oh, and I missed a good thread yesterday to write, “Happy 17th birthday, Maisie!” :)

  18. JoffreyTrueKing
    Posted April 16, 2014 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

    Ha! And those numbers are only for the people who use actual torrents to watch the show. I know the number of people who use online-streaming or other methods to pirate it is much bigger than those who use torrents.

  19. axia777
    Posted April 16, 2014 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

    HBO can wake up and see this reality staring them in the face. I will pay for HBO Go like Netflix to a max of around $19.99 a month. Give it straight to any device including my PS3/PS4, PC, or even my daughters laptop. DO IT HBO! CUT THE CORD TOO!!!

  20. Balerion The Cat
    Posted April 16, 2014 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

    Hoyti Von Totiy,

    Me too, I just can’t wait 12 hours for the HBO in my country to air the episode so I pirate it and watch the episode again when it airs. There is HBO GO in my country but it isn’t available for all the cable providers, you can guess what cable provider I’m using…

  21. Bard
    Posted April 16, 2014 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

    All those criminal Australians again.

  22. House Mormont
    Posted April 16, 2014 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

    That’s not even most of the pirating… that’s just people who torrent it, nevermind all the people that stream it

  23. GeekFurious
    Posted April 16, 2014 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

    axia777:
    HBO can wake up and see this reality staring them in the face.I will pay for HBO Go like Netflix to a max of around $19.99 a month.Give it straight to any device including my PS3/PS4, PC, or even my daughters laptop.DO IT HBO! CUT THE CORD TOO!!!

    It will probably happen some day. When they think they can lose out on the bundle billions. But they’re not interested in anecdotal evidence. Like people saying “Me and all my friends would do it!”

    They must have done studies that suggest it just isn’t enough.

  24. Bard
    Posted April 16, 2014 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

    House Mormont:
    That’s not even most of the pirating… that’s just people who torrent it, nevermind all the people that stream it

    Or download it from OCHs.

  25. Mance Traitor
    Posted April 16, 2014 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

    GeekFurious,

    My guess is that it’s more likely due to the movie rights. HBO (Time Warner) is able to access all the movies they air because they have partnerships with Comcast (NBCUniversal) and other providers. These companies probably get a cut of HBO’s revenue in exchange for licenses to show movies for a certain time. If they didn’t have these, there wouldn’t be any filler, so there wouldn’t be any HBO. If you open that up to the internet for a better price, then who’s going to buy the cable packages? Nobody. People are cutting cords left and right; why would HBO and its partners want to facilitate that? As NBCUniversal makes less money, they give HBO fewer licenses, and so on.

  26. Turncloak
    Posted April 16, 2014 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

    Hoyti Von Totiy,

    If you love in California you can just go on to HBO East

  27. Tony
    Posted April 16, 2014 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

    Balerion The Cat:
    Hoyti Von Totiy,

    Me too, I just can’t wait 12 hours for the HBO in my country to air the episode so I pirate it and watch the episode again when it airs. There is HBO GO in my country but it isn’t available for all the cable providers, you can guess what cable provider I’m using…

    Exact same here! It’s nice to be able to rewatch a certain scene (Especially the previous ep) over and over. My DVR doesnt exactly have infinite space after all…

  28. Hollyoak
    Posted April 16, 2014 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

    There’s too much to read on this site. I can’t keep up. I have a life.

    Are you guys on some kind of speed or something?

    Just kidding!

    Maybe I can catch-up when I get a slow day at work.

  29. Chriss
    Posted April 16, 2014 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

    Zack:
    I think they realize that pirates are just avid fans, at the core of it.

    Not gonna lie, I have been among the numbers this year. But that’s just cause times are rough. I’ve bought the previous season Blu-rays, some shirts and other merch, and subscribed to HBO for years on end until fairly recently. So I download because I don’t want to miss out and when things turn around I’ll join back up with the paying customers, gladly.

    (And, of course this doesn’t need to be said probably, but the moment HBO offers HBOGO without requiring a cable subscription, I would have it Day 1)

    It’s even better in the UK. So they get the cash for a subscription deal with Sky – Murdoch’s empire – the fans download instead of watching, then buy the blu rays.

    HBO gets cash from Murdoch AND the blu ray sales, fans get to pirate the show immediately, and Murdoch loses out.

    See, Sky are infuriating. The channel they show Game of Thrones on is called Sky Atlantic, and they will not allow other providers to make that channel available to their consumers. Kind of a way to make sure if you get Cable you get Sky. So unless you take Sky, you’re pretty fucked. But even if you do get Sky, you’re kinda fucked anyway. See, not only do you need to wait until the next night for Game of Thrones to air, they have the audacity to fling in commercials throughout it. Who the hell wants that?

    Win win win.

  30. I-Crow
    Posted April 16, 2014 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

    No way in hell will I subscribe to Sky so piracy is my only option in the UK, and without it I wouldn’t have ever watched GoT. Now I’ve bought all three seasons on dvd, merch & all the books as a result (and I’ll be getting the complete blu-ray when its over).

    I get seriously wound up when people bring up the black and white “piracy is bad” arguement (not that anyone has done here so far), especially as an independent musician who’s earned money off the back of it.

  31. Balerion The Cat
    Posted April 16, 2014 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

    Chriss,

    Wait, so Sky is a premium channel but has commercials? Wow…

  32. Eleanor
    Posted April 16, 2014 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

    Would have been 193,419 if I hadn’t been visiting a household with Sky Atlantic this week! So weird to see ads in the middle of GoT, but handy if you need the loo.

  33. GeekFurious
    Posted April 16, 2014 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

    Mance Traitor:
    GeekFurious,

    My guess is that it’s more likely due to the movie rights. HBO (Time Warner) is able to access all the movies they air because they have partnerships with Comcast (NBCUniversal) and other providers. These companies probably get a cut of HBO’s revenue in exchange for licenses to show movies for a certain time. If they didn’t have these, there wouldn’t be any filler, so there wouldn’t be any HBO. If you open that up to the internet for a better price, then who’s going to buy the cable packages? Nobody. People are cutting cords left and right; why would HBO and its partners want to facilitate that? As NBCUniversal makes less money, they give HBO fewer licenses, and so on.

    You are probably right about that being another consideration. People just think about the show(s) they want to see, and don’t consider the massive rights issue with all the other content.

    Also, while cord cutting is happening, it is still slower than people imagine. It will be a decade (if not more) before there are more people watching online than live TV.

    http://www.marketingcharts.com/wp/television/are-young-people-watching-less-tv-24817/

  34. Anguissette1979
    Posted April 16, 2014 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

    GeekFurious:
    it would enrage providers who make a ton of money on bundling plans. And so they would likely promote Showtime instead. HBO has likely crunched the numbers and found that the billions they generate in revenue per year via bundles will not be offset by individual HBOGO subscriptions any time soon.

    Up here in New England Comcast has created a package with their BLAST super-fast internet and HBO subscription. It’s not quite a standalone but it has the effect of allowing you to be a non-cable TV subscriber of HBO. Granted, the blast package isn’t cheap but it’s something…

  35. John W
    Posted April 16, 2014 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

    Anyone know what the ratings were?

  36. GeekFurious
    Posted April 16, 2014 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

    Anguissette1979: Up here in New England Comcast has created a package with their BLAST super-fast internet and HBO subscription. It’s not quite a standalone but it has the effect of allowing you to be a non-cable TV subscriber of HBO. Granted, the blast package isn’t cheap but it’s something…

    Yeah, I’ve heard about that. Seems like it is very expensive when you consider how little you actually get. Seems better to pay a little more for tons more value.

  37. Steel_Wind
    Posted April 16, 2014 at 8:55 pm | Permalink

    It is worth remembering that despite the high piracy levels, it’s also HBO most watched show domestically, far and away its most watched internationally, and its best-selling Blu-Ray by far.

    http://variety.com/2014/film/news/games-of-thrones-season-3-slays-home-video-sales-1201122008/

    I also am not aware of any large knock-offs when it comes to merchandising. There certainly are no shortage of shirts, coffee mugs or beer steins bearing GoT logos at my local bookstore. And I have not been able to torrent a single licensed coffee mug off the internet yet. YMMV.

    Yes it is pirated heavily. And yet, millions of discs are still sold 10 months after the series is available for torrenting. So somebody is buying those discs and I suggest that a large number of them are being purchased by those who torrent the series when initially broadcast.

    It’s an imperfect revenue model to be sure, but it continues to work for HBO.

  38. axia777
    Posted April 16, 2014 at 9:13 pm | Permalink

    GeekFurious: It will probably happen some day. When they think they can lose out on the bundle billions. But they’re not interested in anecdotal evidence. Like people saying “Me and all my friends would do it!”

    They must have done studies that suggest it just isn’t enough.

    Then it will be the most pirated show for now until it is over. Such is life. HBO can live with it. Torrenting will never die.

  39. Chickenduck
    Posted April 16, 2014 at 10:02 pm | Permalink

    Here in Australia, last year I bought S3 in iTunes for $33 (our dollar at that point was about the same as a USD). Episodes dropped about 18 hours after screening on HBO the US. Was pretty convenient and I didn’t mind paying.

    This year however, it’s only available on Murdoch’s pay TV channel.

    So the whole of Australia is back to the torrents, and the show is huge here – I saw stats that we were the biggest GoT pirates per capita worldwide… Must be all that convict ancestry.

    I’ll pay the gold price in a couple years when I can get the full 7 season box set.

  40. Hexonx
    Posted April 16, 2014 at 10:41 pm | Permalink

    Chriss: they have the audacity to fling in commercials throughout it.

    What the Fuck! Commercials during GoT? I can’t even imagine that. Do they actually cut any of the show to fit into an hour, let it run longer than an hour or just use the additional 4-8 unused minutes for them?

  41. GeekFurious
    Posted April 16, 2014 at 11:43 pm | Permalink

    axia777: Then it will be the most pirated show for now until it is over.Such is life.HBO can live with it.Torrenting will never die.

    Agreed.

  42. Unbowed Unbent Unhodor
    Posted April 17, 2014 at 1:28 am | Permalink

    Chickenduck,

    i live in Australia too and pay the iron price although i get blu ray as soon as they’re out. Foxtel is expensive and shit enough without buying showcase

  43. Mariya Martell
    Posted April 17, 2014 at 3:27 am | Permalink

    Hexonx: What the Fuck! Commercials during GoT?I can’t even imagine that.Do they actually cut any of the show to fit into an hour, let it run longer than an hour or just use the additional 4-8 unused minutes for them?

    Here in Portugal, they cut to a commercial right in the middle of The War of the Five Kings re-enactment. Right in the middle! Way to break the tension. Fortunately, I had already watched the downloaded version twice…

  44. Benjamin Wakefield
    Posted April 17, 2014 at 5:07 am | Permalink

    I think I can speak for most British viewers when I say hahaha I’m not getting Sky.

    Sky Atlantic and Sky Arts have good shows but are choked up with adverts, never mind having to hand over money to Premiership football billionaires and that phonehacking ballsack Rupert Murdoch.

  45. BobbyAtomic
    Posted April 17, 2014 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

    Chriss,

    You can sign up for NOW TV online, it has Sky Atlantic, it’s a non recurring contract so you can opt out whenever you like and it’s £4.99 a month, so that’s £1.25 per episode. If you want to steal it, that’s fine, but don’t make out you’re stealing it because there’s no other way, because that’s just b s. Oh, and there’s no adverts.


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