Among its many other awards and laurels, “Game of Thrones” has long held the questionable distinction of being the most illegally downloaded TV show. No more. HBO’s high-fantasy drama has now been surpassed on that front by “The Grand Tour,” whose rather expensive pilot episode has been pirated nearly 8 million times since premiering on November 18.
The show, a sort of spiritual successor to the highly successful “Top Gear” starring Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May, streams on Amazon. Four episodes have been released to date, and though each successive one is said to have been illegally downloaded less than the one before it — 6.4 million downloads for Episode 2, 4.6 million for Episode 3 — the figures are surely much higher than Amazon would like.
The show’s total budget for its first 36 episodes is estimated at £160 million, which comes out to a little more than $200 million.