The Game of Thrones season 8 premiere was pirated 55 million times


The final season of Game of Thrones premiered this past Sunday, and it comes as no surprise that anyone and everyone was tuning in for the big night. Now, there are many kinds of viewers — we’ve got the real MVPs who actually pay for their HBO subscription, and then we’ve got people who watch by…other means.

According to analytics firm MUSO, the Game of Thrones season 8 premiere episode, “Winterfell,” was pirated nearly 55 million times across multiple platforms. Take a moment to let that sink in. The episode already had the highest ratings in the history of the show. But it looks like the pirates have that number beat.

Based on their analysis, MUSO broke down their findings as such:

"Of those 55 million pirated views, MUSO says that the vast majority (76.6 percent) came from unofficial streams of the episode, with web downloads accounting for 12.2 percent of views, public torrents for 10.8 percent, and private torrents for 0.5 percent."

On HBO’s end, they had about 17.4 million viewers across their platforms (cable channel, HBO GO, HBO NOW) within a day of the show. As we inch closer to the series finale, these numbers will probably go up, as will the number of people watching the show illegally.

In terms of countries, the most pirated views came from India, followed by China, and then the United States. The first two may be due to the fact that the series is not as accessible in those countries, and when it is, it’s censored, and where’s the fun of that?

On the other hand, about 4 million pirated views came from the United States despite the fact that it’s pretty easy to watch the episode legitimately there. But it still costs, and if there are other methods available…

It’ll be fun to follow the trend for the remaining episodes of the show. No matter how high the numbers get, HBO has nothing to worry about. Traditional views will go up, too, and every new set of eyeballs watching Game of Thrones belongs to another person who might go on to buy a Blu-ray or a Funko Pop! or something.

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h/t The Verge