Millions of viewers have helped make “Game of Thrones,” “The Walking Dead,” “The Big Bang Theory,” “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Gotham” just a few of the most watched shows on TV, but according to TorrentFreak.com, they also top the list of the most downloaded (i.e. pirated) shows on BitTorrent sites.
Per the website, a typical episode of “Game of Thrones” brings in approximately 7.2 million viewers each week, but that number is topped by the estimated number of downloads the series received for its season finale episode aired last year. That episode received an estimated 8.1 million downloads. The series has been cited as the most downloaded TV show for the third consecutive year, the site says.
AMC’s “The Walking Dead” has grown to become one of the most watched scripted series on television with as much as 17.3 million viewers tuning in. However, the series placed a very distant second on the estimated download list with just 4.8 million downloads.
Rounding out the top five are CBS’ “The Big Bang Theory” in third place with 18.2 million TV viewers, but just 3.9 million downloads. CBS’ “How I Met Your Mother” brought in 13.1 million viewers to its series finale, which was downloaded 3.5 million times to help it rank in fourth place.
FOX’s “Gotham” takes fifth place with 11.8 million viewers and just 3.2 million downloads.
Rounding out the top 10 were The CW’s “Arrow” in sixth place (3.9 million viewers, 2.9 million downloads), “Grey’s Anatomy” in seventh place (9.8 million viewers, 2.8 million downloads), History Channel’s “Vikings” in eighth (3.6 million viewers, 2.7 million downloads), USA Network’s “Suits” in ninth (2.8 million viewers, 2.5 million downloads) and Comedy Central’s veteran animated series, “South Park,” in tenth place (2.4 million viewers, 2.4 million viewers).
TorrentFreak says it compiles its list of the most downloaded TV shows of the year based on several factors, including their own sources and download statistics reported by public BitTorrent trackers.
The site notes that “online streaming and downloads for file-hosting services are not included since there are no public sources to draw data from. Total piracy numbers will therefore be significantly higher.”