Most Pirated TV Shows of 2012: Game of Thrones, Dexter

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They are two of the most popular shows on TV... and also two of the most popular shows NOT on TV.

According to a new study by TorrentFreak, Game of Thrones was the most pirated show on television in 2012; it was followed, in order, by:

  • Dexter
  • How I Met Your Mother
  • The Big Bang Theory
  • Breaking Bad
Sansa on Her Knees
Dexter and a Hand

Why Game of Thrones? The study cites HBO's lack of making the epic available online in a timely manner.

The study also showed that over 80 percent of all piracy takes place outside the United States, as international fans simply cannot wait to catch up on seasons when they finally air abroad.

Matt Richenthal is the Editor in Chief of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter and on Google+.


And there's the fact that even if you do want to watch it online on the network/cable website, it says it's not possible since you're not in the US ... @delphincik Right there with you ;)


also did you know some countries only air spanish telenovelas, 20 year old sitcoms and local reality shows? yeah, that's right. i'm not even sure i can purchase the shows online somehow, and it's way too expensive for me anyway, so torrenting is the only choice really.


Also do you know how long it takes for Netflix to put up new seasons, it ridiculous and then Starz stop their deal with them that allow folks like myself to legally watch their shows, so screw them.


I know folks who watch UK shows that won't air in the US for two months so they watch it online later. I am also aware of folks who watch shows from countries like NZ who have awesome shows yet the US does not import them (Outrageous Fortune, Go Girls, and Nothing Trivial, The Almighty Johnsons). So yeah put them out faster and people won't steal. I need to comment Gossip Girl got pirated crap alot too on some places (in one place it was number 2 most downloaded).


well i watch 4 out of this 5 shows and i pirate them all so i guess i have contributed to these numbers:))


@Tom - You put it so right....If there was something like NetFlix available in India, we would have paid and done it. In fact, despite 2 seasons of Homeland being finished, the 1st season of Homeland starts from Jan 16 here. How is that fair? Not to mention plenty of scenes will be cut too, as you can't have an R rated show air in India. Honestly, my life would suck without these shows. :-(
And if there was a legal way to watch it when it airs, I'd be first to jump on that bandwagon. If there is such a way, please reply and let us know here.


why is it british shows are shown days later in the USA but shows like pretty little liars, game of thrones and true blood dont even show on cable until months after (even a year in some case) and you have to pay extra to see them - you could prob get the boxset before it even shows on our tv


Worse than that mate chuck is was minimum 12 months almost homeland is one of the only to air a week apart breaking bad season 5 still not in the uk and you wonder why people do it long live Internet


The day I won't be able to download I'll kill myself.


While I can't say I don't download certain shows, I think that for the most part, these companies that sell these shows bring it on themselves. The fact that 80% of it happens outside the US just speaks to how preventable it is when it comes to TV series. Waiting 2 months for certain shows to air in Australia is disgusting, especially when, to get these shows, you pay roughly $100 a month for cable. I can understand waiting a week, don't get me wrong. But by time they air here, the season is finished already in the US. And don't get me started on how costly it is to purchase these shows digitally, another reason piracy is happening. Why should you pay just as much, if not more, for a digital copy of a show? There's no shipping, distribution or product costs to cover. I don't know. I don't support piracy, but they need to realise that it's not just happening because people want to break the law.. There are reasons for it, and until these reasons are addressed, it's going to be just as much of a problem.