Tuesday, December 20, 2011

'Dexter' ends season six as the top pirated TV show of 2011

Dexter's season six finale has just aired, on Sunday, Dec. 18, 2011, and with that also comes the news that the Showtime series about a serial killer who targets serial killers is a "killer download" on BitTorrent, as well. The series was the most pirated TV show of 2011.

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The numbers from TorrentFreak's annual analysis of torrent downloads showed that the top two shows in the list, Dexter and new HBO series Game of Thrones were downloaded more than they were viewed (legally). That makes sense due to the fact that both of those are on premium cable channels, as opposed to most of the others in the top 10.

The fact that True Blood is at No. 9 in the Top 10, but that its viewership outperformed downloads by nearly three-to-one showed the strength of its viewership.

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One key takeaway is that availability --- including timeliness --- of programming is a big key in piracy. When the Fox network changed its policy in August, delaying the airing of new episodes, quite a few turned away from Hulu and to BitTorrent; after the change the number of U.S. downloads more than doubled.

Outside of the U.S. delays in the release of shows to other countries account for frustration and perhaps jealousy. Many fans simply lose patience and turn to BitTorrent.

The Top Ten List is below.
  1. Dexter - 3,620,000 (downloads); 2,190,000 (viewers)
  2. Game of Thrones - 3,400,000; 3,040,000
  3. The Big Bang Theory - 3,090,000; 15,980,000
  4. House - 2,760,000; 9,780,000
  5. How I Met Your Mother - 2,410,000; 12,220,000
  6. Glee - 2,200,000; 9,210,000
  7. The Walking Dead - 2,060,000; 7,260,000
  8. Terra Nova - 1,910,000; 9,220,000
  9. True Blood - 1,850,000; 5,530,000
  10. Breaking Bad - 1,730,000; 2,580,000
The data for the Top 10 list was collected from several sources, including reports from all public BitTorrent trackers.

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