Thrones season finale sets new record (unfortunately, it's for online piracy)

As a cable exclusive, HBO’s Game of Thrones has been pushing the limits of how far fans will go to keep up with the hit series. Now they’ve given the fantasy series another dubious honor.

Within a matter of hours after its initial airing, the season-three finale became the most pirated episode of television in history. By a wide, wide margin. Torrent Freak reports that more than 170,000 people were sharing the episode simultaneously within hours of a pirated copy showing up online.

Within 24 hours, more than 1 million people had download the show, a statistic the site says “no other TV-show comes close to” matching.

Why are so many people pirating the series? Because HBO has been stingy with how fans can get hold of it, mostly by not releasing new episodes of the series to streaming services or online video outlets. If you want to watch it, you'd better have HBO (or access to a friend’s HBO GO account).

The show has made headlines for the rampant piracy surrounding it, with a director even saying the theft helped build buzz for the series (though he quickly clarified those comments). Though it’s probably not a good thing to have so many people “stealing” the series, it’s hard to argue the explosive finale wasn’t one of the buzziest things on TV, piracy or not.

So he might’ve been on to something the first time.

(Via Torrent Freak)

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