Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Popular Program?

Game of Thrones Broke Record in File-Sharing

Game of Thrones, created by Home Box Office, first aired two years ago and since then quickly gathered an incredible number of fans across the globe. Recently it turned out the HBO’s TV series broke another record: the third season premier collected 6.7 million viewers on BitTorrent.
Indeed, it took just a few hours for the first episode of season 3 to leak online, with people going completely berserk about it – this was quite an expected reaction, as Game of Thrones claimed the “most pirated show” title back in 2012.

It seems that the wait was too intense, with the first episode being downloaded 1 million times and accounting for an absolutely impressive number of seeders – 163,088. This makes it a new record on BitTorrent’s networks. If you take a look over the location of those seeds, you’ll see that Game of Thrones is particularly popular in the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia.

Such numbers would scare any Hollywood studio to hell, but HBO’s staff isn’t worried. HBO programming president sees it as a compliment of sorts – it shows the demand, and certainly doesn’t negatively impact the DVD sales. In the meanwhile, an Australian pay-per-view TV company Foxtel has recently announced that it will soon air episodes of 40 popular TV series, including Game of Thrones and Mad Men, within mere hours of their premieres in the United States. The company believes that the strategy is quite simple – you deliver the best TV to the audience once it becomes available. This is why closing the window between American or British premiere dates and Australian ones is Foxtel’s priority.

So, Game of Thrones will also be aired just 2 hours after the United States, while Mad Men is expected to have a 4 hour delay. Another popular series, True Blood, is going to be aired in the same day as the United States. The hope is that the strategy will make people choose a legal way of watching their favourite TV shows. Actually, this strategy proved to be quite successful – for instance, this season of The Walking Dead aired only 33 hours after US transmission and has attracted larger audiences to Foxtel.

George R. R. Martin, the author of the books “Game of Thrones”, said that it is the most pirated TV show throughout the globe, and a lot of it is coming from Australia. The reason is that the show delayed for six months there – of course, people won’t wait for that long when they can download it illegally and enjoy right now.

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