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Heroes trumps Lost in illegal download battle

55 million people needed a Hero illegally this year
55 million people needed a Hero illegally this year

A chart of the most TV shows illegally downloaded on the internet has been released, with US dramas topping the list.

While it's not an accolade any TV series would want, Heroes – Tim Kring's superhero soap opera – is the most file-shared show on the net this year with 55 million people downloading the show.

Casual piracy

The list was compiled by research firm Big Champagne, who also noted that visits to torrent sites nearly doubled last year.

"Millions of television viewers now access free, unauthorised versions of favourite shows at least some of the time," says Eric Garland, Chief Executive of Big Champagne.

"This is a socially acceptable form of casual piracy - and it is replacing viewing hours."

Lost lost out to Heroes for the top spot, with a mere 51 million illegal downloads compared to 55 million.

All the shows in the top 10 were US-based. This may have something to do with 47% per cent of all downloads coming from the United States. The UK made up just 4 per cent of the download activity.