The season finale of HBO’s Game of Thrones has set a new record for the highest number of illegal downloads within 24 hours of it being on air.
TorrentFreak said that there were approximately 170,000 seeds of the season finale and within 24 hours there had been over 1 million downloads with most being downloaded in Australia (Canada, the US, and the UK followed).
The HBO series that is based on the bestselling novels by George R.R. Martin, is available on many pay-TV channels around the world, but it has stilll consistently broken records for internet downloads. A spokesman for the channel said the record is “a compliment of sorts”.
However Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, who plays the character Jaime Lannister, has called it a form of theft. In a interview with the BBC he said, “It’s funny because there is a little part of you that goes, ‘Yeah. We’re the most pirated show.’ Then you think, ‘That’s really bad isn’t it?’”
"What you hope is that even though people watch it online, they will still buy the DVD. You can always hope.”
David Petrarca, the show’s director, said that the pirating is a form of “cultural buzz” that adds to the show’s popularity regardless of whether people watch it via TV or illegal downloads.
The show has already been commissioned for a fourth series in 2014, and filming begins in Belfast, Northern Ireland during July.