It comes as no great surprise that the (annually frustrating) title of the most pirated TV show of 2015, once again, goes to Game of Thrones.
Review our most pirated titles of 2014 – or even 2013 – and it reveals a number of popular television productions for whom piracy has become as commonplace as popularity. In fact, the top three shows are exactly the same this year as last year, with The Walking Dead and Big Bang Theory joining HBO’s flagship title.
Worse still, each title racked up more illegal downloads this year than in 2014, showing that the piracy problem for each show is getting worse, not better.
Top 5 Most Pirated TV Shows of 2015
1. Game of Thrones: 14.4 million downloads
2. The Walking Dead: 6.9 million
3. The Big Bang Theory: 4.4 million
4. Arrow: 3.9 million
5. The Flash: 3.6 million
With Game of Thrones atop the list of most pirated TV shows for a fourth consecutive year, its 14.4 million downloads in 2015 show a surge from 8.1 million in last year’s totals.
Even with the rollout of its own video-on-demand (VOD) service, HBO NOW, is clearly unable to make a dent in the ever-increasing levels of infringement. It was hoped that 2015 would prove to be the time for such services to win over more viewers and reclaim those lost to illegal channels.
It shows that the piracy sites that filled the space before these services arrived will not automatically recede now that legal options exist. It will take time to change the behavior of viewers who feel somehow entitled to watch the most popular programs on TV for free.
Creators can only do so much to plead with viewers to support legal alternatives and it seems almost inevitable that these same titles will figure prominently again in the most pirated TV shows of next year.