The numbers are in for 2016, and Game of Thrones is once again the most torrented TV show of the year, extending the series' reign at the top to five years running. The Walking Dead is once again in second place, with HBO's newcomer Westworld debuting in the no. 3 spot.
Game Of Thrones On Top Again
It's no surprise that Game of Thrones retains the top spot in the most pirated TV shows of 2016, as the series remains HBO's biggest hit and still garners blockbuster ratings, with the season 6 premiere having broken viewership records for the program. The sharing of copies of Game of Thrones comes despite major efforts on the part of HBO to prevent it.
After an embarrassing online leak of the first four episodes of season 5 occurred, HBO vowed not to allow a repeat, beginning with the unprecedented decision not to release any preview screeners for the first episodes of season 6 to the press, instead holding a private viewing party for select members of the media. The broadcaster also stepped up its online takedown efforts, even overstepping its bounds by demanding the removal of a YouTube video providing information on season 6 spoilers, despite the fact that the clip did not contain any copyrighted material.
HBO's efforts appear not to have made much impact, however, as the number of downloads of Game of Thrones on BitTorrent are basically on par with those of last year. In addition, many users have turned to streaming as opposed to downloading pirated shows, which means the number of illegal views of the show may have actually increased in 2016.
Walking Dead And Westworld Rank High
With Game of Thrones set to wrap up after season 8, following a truncated seventh season, HBO badly needed a franchise hit to replace it, and it appears the network has found it in the form of Westworld, which debuts at an impressive no. 3 on the list of most pirated TV shows of the year, following AMC's buzzworthy The Walking Dead, which repeated its 2015 second place showing.
Following Westworld on the list are some of the usual suspects: The Flash, Arrow, The Big Bang Theory (the only situation comedy to make the top 10) and Vikings. Newcomer Lucifer also makes the top 10 at no. 8, with Suits moving up a place from last year to land at no. 9. Another newcomer, Amazon Prime Video's The Grand Tour comes in at no. 10.
When The Grand Tour debuted, it was pronounced by various media outlets as the most downloaded TV show ever, but that turned out not to be the case, with the research firm responsible clarifying that the piracy statistics applied only to the UK.