Game of Thrones season 8 premiere set a multi-platform record when it began earlier this week, according to numbers revealed by HBO. The first episode of Game of Thrones' final season had 17.4 million viewers across all HBO platforms. However, these numbers seem quite small compared to 55 million pirated views for the first 24 hours. The Game of Thrones season 8 premiere was pirated via illegal streaming sites, downloads, and torrents.
Game of Thrones has been one of the most pirated TV shows over the last few years. According to analytics company Muso, a majority of the 55 million pirated views (76.6 percent) came from illegal streaming sites, while illegal downloads accounted for 12.2 percent, and around 11.3 percent were torrents. The report was first shared by The Verge.
The most pirated views for Game of Thrones season 8 premiere came from India, according to numbers released by Muso. Indians contributed to around 10 million pirated views for the first episode of Game of Thrones season 8. In India, Game of Thrones can be streamed on Hotstar which charges Rs. 999 for a full year subscription.
Closely following India is China with around 5 million pirated views. While Game of Thrones is aired in China, viewers can only watch a censored version legally. On the third spot is the United States with around 4 million illegal views.
Other countries that significantly pirated Game of Thrones season 8 premiere include the UK, Nigeria, Iran, Kenya, France, Canada, and Australia.
Over the last couple of years, illegal streaming services have cropped up all across the Internet, letting people watch TV shows and movies without any fees. So far it has been nearly impossible to track illegal views on such streaming services. This is probably the first time an analytics company has reported pirated views for a TV show that include illegal streaming services.
Judging previous records, Game of Thrones fans are likely to break more records considering this is the final season of the much-anticipated TV series. Some of the reasons for people pirating Game of Thrones could be the lack of availability, higher subscription prices, or simply the unwillingness to pay for a subscription.
Game of Thrones season 8 continues this weekend. Watch the trailer for the second episode here and keep following Gadgets360 for more Game of Thrones coverage.