The third season premiere of HBO’s fantasy television series “Game of Thrones,” which was just renewed for a fourth season, has broken yet another record after a wildly successful broadcast on the premium network last Sunday, March 31st.
It was reported that mere hours after the episode’s original 9 PM airtime, over 160,000 viewers had shared a single download using the peer-to-peer program BitTorrent. Simultaneously, over 50,00 were still downloading the premiere. This is a new record for online piracy, as the last placeholder was the 2008 season three premiere of late NBC sci-fi series “Heroes” with nearly 145,000 peers sharing on the network.
Despite competition with illegal downloading, HBO still did very well, racking in 4.4 million viewers during the original broadcast (read TOH’s review and recap here). Two subsequent broadcasts brought the total to 6.7 million. The cable channel will likely continue to contend with online piracy, as Time Warner has yet to make HBO’s OnDemand streaming service, HBOGo, available to non-subscribers.