The season finale of Game of Thrones was watched by a lot of people, many of whom do not have HBO, which helped it set a new record for illegal downloads.
Plenty more than 5.4 million HBO subscribers have seen Sunday’s Game of Thrones finale.
The drama’s season-three ender, which scored its second-highest ratings of all time, set a new record for illegal downloads. TorrentFreak reports that Game of Thrones notched a record 170,000 simultaneous shares on BitTorrent in the wake of the episode.
During the less-than-24-hour period since the episode premiered on HBO, north of 1 million people have already downloaded the show — besting all previous records for a TV series.
And piracy is hardly a new development for Game of Thrones. TorrentFreak previously reported that the series topped all other pirated TV shows in 2012, hitting 4.28 million downloads with one episode. Game of Thrones has since bested that record with the recent season premiere.
All of this news would seem to be frustrating for HBO, but the series is seeing an increasingly wide audience. The network confirmed Monday that, with an average 13.6 million viewers for every episode, Game of Thrones has topped True Blood to become HBO’s most-watched series currently on-air. It ranks behind only The Sopranos as its most watched original series ever.