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The Top 10 Most Pirated TV Shows Of 2013 + Illegal Download Trends

The Top 10 Most Pirated TV Shows Of 2013 + Illegal Download Trends

Torrent Freak’s has released its annual roundup of the most pirated television shows of the year (full list below), and while non of the titles on the list are what we’d call *black shows*, one or two of them feature black characters in significant roles.

But regardless of that, it’s still a worthwhile list to share.

A couple of things of note. Firs, for the second year in a row, Game of Thrones is the most pirated TV-show for 2013.

And second, and more interesting, is that, unlike past years, more content producers and TV executives are less concerned about their shows being illegally downloaded, and some are even embracing piracy. For example, as Torrent Freak says, Game of Thrones director David Petrarca has said that “piracy generated much-needed “cultural buzz” around his show;” and Jeff Bewkes, CEO of HBO’s parent company Time Warner, added his $.02, saying that “piracy resulted in more subscriptions for his company and that receiving the title of “most-pirated” was ‘better than an Emmy.’

An interesting shift in sentiment as the argument over the pros and cons of piracy continue.

The challenge for TV companies continues to be coming up with a business model that allows users to consume what they want, when they want, without losing revenue and profits in the process.

Below is a list of the most downloaded TV-shows of 2013 (per episode), together with the viewer average for the TV show in the US, collected by Torrent Freak from several sources, including reports from all public BitTorrent trackers. It’s really fascinating when the number of illegal downloads per episode matches or surpasses the average audience size per episode, like with Game Of Thrones, which drew about 4.9 million viewers on average per episode last season.

So there are more people pirating the show weekly (5.5 million in the USA), than there are watching it legally. 

As Torrent Freak notes, airing delays and HBO’s choice not to make the hit show widely available on VOD (for purchase) immediately after, are two of the top reasons it’s the most pirated show. Netflix wanted streaming rights, but HBO wanted to keep the series exclusive to HBO.

And so the piracy continues.

Here’s the full list:

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Some of the people that are pirating the show may also be regular cable watchers. They could be watching twice or just building a catalog to watch the shows later.


Not surprised by the list. A lot more people are cutting the cable cord and the networks above do not make their shows readily available unless you have some cable affiliation. And outside of Walking Dead, Breaking Bad or Arrow none of them are available to stream on Netflix.
— USA is probably the least accessible when it comes to non-premium cable channels. So the Suits inclusion makes sense.
— And of all the non-cable networks, CBS is the least accessible. It wasn't until this year that you could get' Person of Interest' anywhere (even to purchase on iTunes or Amazon). You were stuck with hoping to catch it in reruns.
— Surprised by Arrow though. CW makes that show easily available the next day on HULU and past seasons stream on Netflix.


I only watch two shows on that list Arrow and Game of Thrones

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