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Game of Thrones tops illegal download charts in 2012

Game of Thrones tops illegal download charts in 2012
Tyrion Lannister's antics have proved popular among illegal downloaders

An episode of the epic, mythical drama Game of Thrones was the most torrented show of 2012, according to new figures compiled by Torrentfreak.

The site said that the episode, from season two of the HBO-produced show, had been illegally downloaded 4,280,000 times around the world on BitTorrent and across the various other torrent portals.

That figure is slightly higher than the estimated television viewing audience in the United States of 4,200,000.

Game of Thrones, based on the George R.R. Martin novels, takes the distinction from last year's winner Dexter, which was still in second place in 2012.

Family-friendly network TV comedies, The Big Bang Theory and How I Met Your Mother were next and AMC's hugely acclaimed Breaking Bad rounded out the top five with 2,580,000 downloads.

Too excited to wait?

The site claims that 80 per cent of all illegal downloads came from outside the United States as users struggle to wait the extra time it often takes to watch their favourite shows.

UK viewers are, in fact, able to watch Game of Thrones, just one day after it airs in the United States, while Australian viewers have to desperately avoid spoilers for an entire week.

However, the site pointed out that hundreds of thousands of US-based illegal downloads took place due to the extra expense of subscriptions to HBO (Game of Thrones) and Dexter (Showtime) beyond a regular cable TV subscription.

HBO Go allows users to catch up with the full range of shows at any time, but it is only available to those who're accessing the channels as part of their regular subscription package.

Via Torrent Freak