The finale of Game of Thrones series five is expected to break all piracy and torrent file-sharing records, according to a TorrentFreak report.
Under a month ago episode six ‘Unbowed Unbent Unbroken’ broke the record for most downloads over a 12 hour period. However, the hype around the latest episode, which features the shocking death of a lead character, has caused thousands more fans to head to torrent and streaming sites to download and view a pirated copy of the finale.
In the first eight hours following its release, over 1.5 million users downloaded the episode. This number is expected to rise to more than 10 million downloads over the upcoming days – a figure which TorrentFreak argues will allow it to compete for first prize for the most downloaded torrent file ever.
TorrentFreak reported that downloads were coming from all over the world, but were particularly popular in the U.S., the UK, Canada and India. The 480p version of the file is the most popular copy, followed by 720p and 1080p.
The series finale is also up for top spot for the single most shared file at one time across a P2P network. At the time recorded by TorrentFreak, 224,367 people were currently distributing the file in a BitTorrent client, with 150,003 sharing the complete copy and 74,364 still downloading the file. The current record is held by Game of Thrones series four finale, which defeated the series three finale with 250,000 shares at one time.
The entire season five, which has been the most viewed series so far, both across official channels and pirate sites, was already the most downloaded TV show of 2015 before any episodes were actually aired on HBO. Game of Thrones has garnered the annual piracy title for the previous three years.