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Torrent News: Tens of Millions of Pirated Downloads and Streaming Beefs Up 'Game of Thrones' Season 8 Viewership

Screenshot from the trailer of "Game of Thrones" final season | Photo by HBO via YouTube (GameofThrones channel)

For the past eight years, “Game of Thrones” has been one of the most talked-about TV shows around the world. On Sunday, the final episode of season 8 was released that also marked the ultimate end to the original series. While it was anticipated to break TV ratings and records, the farewell season has also been shattering torrent download and streaming history.

Hearing news on how “Game of Thrones” season 8 garnered millions of viewers through official channels such as HBO airing, DVR, and on-demand streaming is not surprising at all. But what is interesting is how torrent platforms largely contributed to the show’s viewership.

HBO reported a record of 17.4 million viewership for “Game of Thrones” season 8 episode 1 upon its release on April 14. That number is comprised of fans who watched it on HBO cable channel and through official streaming platforms like HBOGO and HBO NOW. The number of viewership and download through torrent sites has been staggering as well.

Analytics company MUSO reported that “Game of Thrones” season 8 episode 1 was accessed around 55 million times through torrent channels within the first 24 hours of its release. However, it does not necessarily mean that the final season holds the record for most torrent downloads of all time.

TorrentFreak pointed out that download links for “Game of Thrones” season 8 episode 6 from three well-known torrent sites were shared for about 200,000 times by Monday afternoon. That barely posed a challenge on current all-time record high in torrent download history because downloading from websites are purportedly no longer the top choice in accessing pirated copies of fan-favorite TV shows.

Take, for example, the data reported by MUSO where 76.6 percent of the 55 million torrent views are concentrated in online streaming of pirated copies of the episode. Meanwhile, downloads from torrent websites only cover 12.2 percent of that figure.

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