08 September 2017
Reporter: Barney Dixon

Game of Thrones season seven hits a billion illegal downloads

Season seven of hit HBO TV show Game of Thrones exceeded one billion illegal downloads and streams, according to content protection company MUSO.

As of 3 September, official figures suggested an average of 31 million, eclipsing the amount of legal viewings.

Streaming accounted for most of the infringement, with nearly 85 percent of illegal viewing attributed to the medium.

According to MUSO, the season seven premiere with downloaded and streamed more than 90 millions times within the first 72 hours of broadcast. The season finale accumulated more than 120 million downloads and streams.

Episode six received 29 percent more illegal viewings than the season finale, which MUSO said was likely due to preemptive leak of the episode.

MUSO pointed out, however, that season seven has also been the most viewed season from legal mediums, but the “unprecedented popularity of the show has also seen fans across the world take to unlicensed channels to stream and download episodes in absolutely staggering numbers”.

Andy Chatterly, co-founder and CEO of MUSO, said: “Game of Thrones has become one of the biggest global entertainment phenomena of today and activity across piracy networks has been totally unprecedented.

“It’s no secret that HBO has been plagued by security breaches throughout the latest season, which has seen some episodes leak before broadcast and added to unlicensed activity.”

He added: “In addition to the scale of piracy when it comes to popular shows, these numbers demonstrate that unlicensed streaming can be a far more significant type of piracy than torrent downloads.

“At MUSO, we look at all types of piracy, not just torrents, and that is why these numbers have been illuminated. It’s time to acknowledge this audience; we should view this as an opportunity to understand the bigger picture.”

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