Certain TV shows are pirated more than others and in 2014 Game of Thrones took that number one spot. It is hardly surprising considering the following the show has, which is currently working on its fifth season. People all over the world want to know how the fantasy world is going to turn out.
Game of Thrones is based on the book series A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin. The author is currently working on book six, and the show is already catching up. It has led to many speculating over how the show will go about writing the ending. Will the show runners wait for Martin to catch up to them or deviate from the plot? Another possibility is that the show will share Martin’s true ending and spoil it for all those beloved book readers.
This is the third year in a row that Game of Thrones has become the most pirated show. There are many reasons why this is possible. During the first season, the main character—the one that most were rooting for—was beheaded in a public show. It quickly made those who had never read the books realize that absolutely anything could happen. By the end of season three, it was clear that happy endings were not likely to happen with two other main characters being killed in a shocking twist.
According to TorrentFreak, Game of Thrones is the most pirated show of 2014 with 8.1 million illegal downloads. Others come nowhere close to this amount, with The Walking Dead taking the second place with a little over half of the fantasy show’s amount at 4.8 million downloads. Comedy The Big Bang Theory took third place with 3.9 million.
It seems that most people prefer to watch the Game of Thrones illegally. When looking at the Nielsen ratings, more people watch The Walking Dead and The Big Bang Theory. Just 19 million people have watched the show’s adaptation of A Song of Ice and Fire on HBO.
The show is not likely the only reason for it being pirated so much. One of the main reasons is likely due to the network that airs the show. HBO is only available to subscription, and the price is one that not everyone is able to play. There is also a delay for those who live overseas, which is unacceptable for many. They want to see the episodes at the same time as their fellow fans in the United States. The international cast has partially helped to bring in the international views—along with the great storytelling and twists.
HBO seems to want to counter the price problem to help reduce torrenting. Next year, a new stand-alone streaming model will be introduced. At the moment, those who watch online still need a cable subscription, but that will no longer be the case. Showtime has already proven that this type of model works relatively well. It is hoped that the fifth season of Game of Thrones will be aired on the new pricing model, which is expected to air in April 2015. Many fans have indicated that they would pay to watch the show if they were not forced into the cable subscription.
For now, the show continues to be downloaded illegally. In 2014, Game of Thrones became the most pirated show, with The Walking Dead and The Big Bang Theory not that close behind.
Opinion by Alexandria Ingham