For the fourth year in a row, Game of Thrones has proven itself popular with small-scale cyber criminals, taking home the trophy for the most pirated show of the year. According to filesharing news site TorrentFreak, the show was torrented more than any other in 2015.
Runners-up for the award were The Walking Dead and The Big Bang Theory in second and third place respectively. Arrow and The Flash rounded out the top five.
The most popular episode by far was the season five finale, 'Mother's Mercy' - 14.4 million people downloaded it through BitTorrent, a figure even higher than the number of traditional viewers who watched it on telly in the US (around 8.11 million).
More than half of those downloads occurred within a week of the episode airing - and 1.5 million downloads happened within eight hours of it airing. It even broke filesharing records, with a whopping 258,131 peers torrenting a video file of the episode simultaneously.
The most popular resolution downloaded was a lower quality 480p copy, followed by 720p and 1080p. Although less pretty to look at, the 480p version would be a smaller file, meaning most users would choose it because it downloads quicker and takes up less hard drive space.
TorrentFreak got the data from analysis of filesharing program BitTorrent, but not from online streaming or downloads - meaning the total piracy numbers are actually a lot higher.
2015's most torrented shows were:
1. Game of Thrones - est. 14,400,000 downloads
2. The Walking Dead - est. 6,900,000 downloads
3. The Big Bang Theory - est. 4,400,000 downloads
4. Arrow - est. 3,900,000 downloads
5. The Flash - est. 3,600,000 downloads
6. Mr Robot - 3,500,000 downloads
7. Vikings - est. 3,300,000 downloads
8. Supergirl - est. 3,000,000 downloads
9. The Blacklist - est. 2,900,000 downloads
10. Suits - est. 2,600,000 downloads
How would you rate broadbandchoices? Help us improve by writing a review