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"Say my name."  (Source: AMC)
"Remember my name... and don't be a leech."

If there's one thing to be gleaned from TorrentFreak's annual statistics of the most-pirate TV shows, it's that global TV viewers love deep, character-driven plots and aren't deterred by a generous helping of death.
 
While the final season of Bryan Cranston's brilliant precision as the hardened Heisenberg earned rave reviews, it was the ongoing TV dramatization of the George R. R. Martin Fantasy novel Game of Thrones that earned the top spot in these annual rankings.

Most Pirated

For better or worse, the HBO-aired Game of Thrones didn't gather nearly the viewership of AMC's second-place Breaking Bad or third place The Walking Dead, but beat its foes in piracy rateUSA Network's Suits, Showtime's controversial final season of Dexter, and Homeland (also Showtime) were among other shows that saw unusually high piracy rates compared to their offline TV viewership.
 
Here are last year's rankings for old time's sake:
Most pirated

Showtime, HBO, et al., may have themselves be to blame for the high piracy rates of their most popular shows.  According to AP:

No matter how much Netflix Inc. is willing to pay for the rights, some online video remains off-limits.

Major movie studios are refusing to license the rights to most of their latest movies at the same time they're released on DVDs. Premium cable channels such as HBO and Showtime also are withholding their most popular series, including "Game of Thrones" and "Dexter," because they are worried about losing subscribers if the content is available on Netflix's less expensive Internet service.

And they may not even mind. 

Game of Thrones Emmy
While Game of Thrones has won Emmy awards, HBO's parent Time Warner takes even more pride in its "most pirated" title, which it says drives paid subscriptions. [Image Source: Reuters]

HBO is owned by Time Warner Inc. (TWX).  In a recent earnings call Tim Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes was asked if he viewed the record-setting Game of Thrones piracy as a complement.  He responded:

I have to admit it, I think you’re right.  Our experience is that it leads to more paying subs. I think you’re right that Game of Thrones is the most pirated show in the world. That’s better than an Emmy.

So it sounds like some movie directors are finally coming around to what many peer-reviewed studies have long suggested -- that piracy is great free publicity for paid content.

Source: TorrentFreak



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It comes down to availability
By Etsp on 12/27/2013 5:55:55 PM , Rating: 3
I'm willing to bet that Game of Thrones would have been pirated a LOT less if there was a legal means of watching the show without needing to pay for both cable and HBO.

I'd pay a monthly fee to stream HBO shows without the need for cable, but that isn't an option. Instead, I just don't watch their shows at all (GoT included).

I'm hoping that HBO wakes up to the 21st century soon.




RE: It comes down to availability
By quiksilvr on 12/27/2013 6:06:49 PM , Rating: 3
If HBO Go was available without a cable subscription, cable companies fear that they will be left in the dust.

HBO GO is being bri--er I mean paid quite a bit to remain cable company exclusive. Its the cable companies that are having a hard time letting go of GO and getting with the 21st century.


RE: It comes down to availability
By otherwise on 12/27/2013 6:52:00 PM , Rating: 2
It's too bad HBO is owned by Time Warner; given their position in the cable market they'd be the perfect buyout target for Netflix.


RE: It comes down to availability
By nafhan on 12/27/2013 6:07:26 PM , Rating: 3
Yep. I'd pay $10 or $15 a month for HBO Go just for Game of Thrones. I'm not going to pay $100+ for a cable package. I'm in the US where I have the option for a cable package with HBO. That's not the case in much of the world.


RE: It comes down to availability
By Samus on 12/27/2013 9:40:06 PM , Rating: 3
Ditto. I'd easily pay $10-15 a month for HBO, $5-10 for Comedy Central, and $5-10 for a Disney package.

I get my local OTA channels from an antenna, so the above network channels are all I really care about. BBC, Discovery/TLC, etc would all be nice but if I wanted all the crap I'd get cable, and I don't. I just want 3 channels.


RE: It comes down to availability
By Phoque on 12/27/2013 10:10:50 PM , Rating: 2
Or you can do like me and buy the DVDs. You can also buy it on Sony Entertainment Network if you prefer a digital copy (which you can share on several devices). I wouldn't be surprised if there were other legit sources as well other than paying for cable.


RE: It comes down to availability
By Jeffk464 on 12/27/2013 10:13:29 PM , Rating: 2
You have to be patient and wait for it to be released on amazon streaming.


RE: It comes down to availability
By CharonPDX on 12/28/2013 4:54:21 AM , Rating: 2
Exactly. I'd pay per-month for HBO Go if it didn't require a landline cable subscription.

I'd pay for the individual episodes on iTunes, Amazon, etc, if they were available in a reasonable timeframe. (Releasing them one year later is NOT reasonable.)


RE: It comes down to availability
By Accord99 on 12/28/2013 11:11:25 AM , Rating: 2
Breaking Bad and Walking Dead were/are readily viewable online shortly after an episode was aired and the Big Bang Theory is shown by a broadcast network. So I doubt that GoT's download numbers would go down much at all.


RE: It comes down to availability
By Camikazi on 12/29/2013 12:09:04 PM , Rating: 3
The download number would go down a bit but the viewer number would probably skyrocket.


Netflix
By inperfectdarkness on 12/27/2013 11:30:41 PM , Rating: 2
I think maybe 4 of those are available on Netflix for streaming. Maybe. BBT, Homeland and GoT aren't for sure.




RE: Netflix
By Spuke on 12/30/2013 1:02:08 PM , Rating: 2
Two seasons of Homeland and GoT are on Google Play.


I wonder why....
By Imaginer on 12/28/2013 5:54:56 AM , Rating: 4
Perhaps this comic may speak to add some reasons why people do.

http://theoatmeal.com/comics/game_of_thrones




HBO Cares.
By coburn_c on 12/27/2013 7:22:03 PM , Rating: 2
HBO cares more than most in fact. Their anti-piracy measures are par excellence.




These shows and their appeal
By dxf2891 on 1/2/2014 10:39:31 AM , Rating: 2
I think the first three shows satisfy the big "What If" around the table, water cooler, lunch room, etc.

1. Game of Thrones: If I were Stark, I would have... or I love the Imp because he....

2. Breaking Bad: Now that's what everyone thinks of when the job totally cheeses them off... I going to do things my way and God help anyone who gets my way....

3. The Walking Dead: Who would you include in your zombie apocalypse survival group? What takes precedence: skill and usefulness or emotional attachment? Your wife and child, and her useless brother, or that engineer/biochemist and that Marine Corps medic?

I can't tell you how many times these discussions came up during these shows. Shows like The Wire, Spartacus and even Rome also stirred similar discussions, but not to this degree.




These shows and their appeal
By dxf2891 on 1/2/2014 10:40:46 AM , Rating: 2
I think the first three shows satisfy the big "What If" around the table, water cooler, lunch room, etc.

1. Game of Thrones: If I were Stark, I would have... or I love the Imp because he....

2. Breaking Bad: Now that's what everyone thinks of when the job totally cheeses them off... I going to do things my way and God help anyone who gets my way....

3. The Walking Dead: Who would you include in your zombie apocalypse survival group? What takes precedence: skill and usefulness or emotional attachment? Your wife and child, and her useless brother, or that engineer/biochemist and that Marine Corps medic?

I can't tell you how many times these discussions came up during these shows. Shows like The Wire, Spartacus and even Rome also stirred similar discussions, but not to this degree.




Culture in Decline
By Reclaimer77 on 12/27/13, Rating: -1
RE: Culture in Decline
By Cheesew1z69 on 12/27/2013 8:28:31 PM , Rating: 2
House was good show, Breaking Bad was amazing and BBT, LOVE that show.


RE: Culture in Decline
By Souka on 12/29/2013 3:34:01 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
HBO's parent Time Warner takes even more pride in its "most pirated" title, which it says drives paid subscriptions.


So this tells me that it's ok to download. Matter of fact, if I get in trouble with HBO, then this statement should avoid any penalties from HBO, right?


RE: Culture in Decline
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 12/27/2013 10:25:28 PM , Rating: 2
Breaking Bad is the GOAT


RE: Culture in Decline
By cruisin3style on 12/28/2013 12:19:01 AM , Rating: 2
what are your two picks?

100% agree on how that list could be the top, but i don't think culture is in decline i think it is you that is changing, getting older, wiser, or whathaveyou

just like when old people say "kids these days" but kids have probably always been the same, the old people are just crankier now or have more time to notice kids or whatever the reason is


RE: Culture in Decline
By Reclaimer77 on 12/28/13, Rating: -1
RE: Culture in Decline
By cruisin3style on 12/28/2013 2:00:51 AM , Rating: 2
I don't agree, but I'd still want to hear your picks :D

Mine would be breaking bad and homeland, the rest I can honestly say I wish i hadn't wasted the time


RE: Culture in Decline
By Reclaimer77 on 12/28/13, Rating: 0
RE: Culture in Decline
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 12/28/2013 7:42:08 AM , Rating: 2
Frasier was great, although definitely not as good in the final two seasons.


RE: Culture in Decline
By Reclaimer77 on 12/28/2013 8:02:14 AM , Rating: 2
You know what, you're goddamned right. Every Frazier I've happened to catch, I remember being thoroughly entertained.

*added to Netflix queue*

Whoa! It went 11 seasons?? Did not know that.

Now if I can just convince the girlfriend to take a break from her Cake Boss obsession... *groan*


RE: Culture in Decline
By jimbojimbo on 12/30/2013 10:38:10 AM , Rating: 2
I didn't know it went 11 seasons either probably because I stopped watching it. A lot of shows just drag on and I lose interest. That's one of the reasons Breaking Bad is so good. It went out with a bang when it was still good.


RE: Culture in Decline
By Cheesew1z69 on 12/28/2013 9:16:06 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
Seinfeld is on a record fifth syndication cycle run, and no wonder. It's pretty much the last American sitcom made that's worth watching.
Ugh, no, he is not funny and horribly annoying.


RE: Culture in Decline
By Spuke on 12/29/2013 4:22:32 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Ugh, no, he is not funny and horribly annoying.
I don't think he's annoying but not all that funny either. Like Big bang, that show has its moments. Seinfeld was FAR funnier than Frasier and I didn't watch all of those either. I will admit, I'm not much of a comedy guy even though I'm a complete buffoon in person. I much prefer dramas and scifi. I like anxiety and alternate realities/philosophies in my TV shows and movies. Game of Thrones is right up my alley. I watched the pilot for Homeland and thought it sucked. If I can figure out the ending(s) on the first show, it sucks. Maybe I'll change my mind later but not now. Sorry.


RE: Culture in Decline
By retrospooty on 12/28/2013 9:34:55 AM , Rating: 2
"Breaking Bad is like...good, but I feel like I'm only watching it because everyone else says it's the best thing ever. I'm four seasons in atm and so far I feel it's an overrated show. And yes I already know the ending because a-holes spoiled it for me...but I don't even care. "Walter White" never developed as a character"

If you can watch this scene and not see the glory of it, then Breaking Bad is just not for you... But watch this scene.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wMEq1mGpP5A


RE: Culture in Decline
By Reclaimer77 on 12/28/2013 9:55:23 AM , Rating: 2
Well I'm sure what you just linked is a spoiler, so thanks but no thanks buddy.

I don't need to be recruited, I said the show was good. It's just not the life-changing experience everyone is making it out to be.

And I mean, this is kind of what I mean about our culture being in decline. These are the kinds of people who are our heroes now? One who murders people and ruins others lives and commits unspeakable crimes and justifies it because he got cancer during his midlife crisis.


RE: Culture in Decline
By retrospooty on 12/28/2013 10:05:16 AM , Rating: 2
"Well I'm sure what you just linked is a spoiler"

Its not. It's a scene in either season 4 or 5 where his wife is worried about him getting hurt and he lets her know he isnt, he is the one that brings the hurt, not the one that is in danger of getting hurt. It's just a good character scene. You mentioned character development, and that scene shows it IMHO.

"And I mean, this is kind of what I mean about our culture being in decline. These are the kinds of people who are our heroes now?"

I dont think anyone actually sees him as a real "hero", its just a good show, not "life changing" just worth watching... I also like Dexter, doesn't mean I look up to serial killers. It's just a good show... But to each his own...


RE: Culture in Decline
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 12/28/2013 10:14:13 AM , Rating: 2
I saw him as a hero until the scene where a certain someone said "Let me *** in peace" and that "thing" that went down in two minutes with that catchy standard playing in the background.

Then I thought, this guy is ****king crazy.


RE: Culture in Decline
By Reclaimer77 on 12/28/2013 12:03:41 PM , Rating: 2
The scene where he just watched that chick die...all so he could manipulate Jessie into staying as his doormat..

Just wow. That was plain evil.


RE: Culture in Decline
By Bubbacub on 12/28/2013 1:12:02 PM , Rating: 2
she was an crazed (but cute) junkie that had just threatened heisenberg with blackmail over $500k.

given the body count that he had already racked up then i cant blame him too much for letting nature take its course.


RE: Culture in Decline
By Reclaimer77 on 12/29/2013 2:30:29 AM , Rating: 2
She wasn't crazed. She was scared and desperate. She needed help. The man is a goddamn schoolteacher and a father, if anyone should have understood and felt sympathy toward her, it would have been him.

But all he cared about was himself, so he let her die so he could keep Jessie in his pocket and NOT give him his fair share.

This guy isn't Jack Bauer or something, where he's doing these incredible and terrifying things for some greater purpose or to save others. He got cancer then lost his mind, oh yeah, let me stand up and cheer for him...


RE: Culture in Decline
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 12/29/2013 3:04:20 PM , Rating: 2
You're not supposed to cheer for him as the series goes on. Vince purposely wrote him to become unlikeable. From protagonist to antagonist.


RE: Culture in Decline
By Spuke on 12/29/2013 4:09:59 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Just wow. That was plain evil.
I had only watched ads on the show and it didn't appeal to me at all but some family insisted I check it out so I did. I must say it was a great show. I remember watching an entire season over a weekend. It's not as good as Game of Thrones but still great.


RE: Culture in Decline
By Reclaimer77 on 12/29/2013 8:18:25 PM , Rating: 3
I just can't identify with any of the characters on Breaking Bad. Game of Thrones on the other hand, I have no problem with that. Especially this character:

http://24.media.tumblr.com/51dc64b9e327e91c2f2e544...

Oh yes. I feel a strong bond with this character....Oh Daenerys, my sun and moon, my stars....

my love!


RE: Culture in Decline
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 12/29/2013 9:21:30 PM , Rating: 2
You two need to be alone?


RE: Culture in Decline
By Reclaimer77 on 12/30/2013 4:21:17 PM , Rating: 2
Brother, if you only knew how much I need to be alone with her :P


RE: Culture in Decline
By Spuke on 12/30/2013 2:22:18 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
I just can't identify with any of the characters on Breaking Bad.
I'd never watch TV if I needed to identify with the characters. LOL! Like dude said, "here we are now, entertain us". That's all I want.


RE: Culture in Decline
By thurston2 on 12/30/2013 9:31:36 AM , Rating: 2
*Dude=Kurt Cobain


RE: Culture in Decline
By jimbojimbo on 12/30/2013 10:43:41 AM , Rating: 2
Our heroes? It's a damn TV show that we enjoy. It does NOT mean he's our hero. Is that what you think? If you watch a show the main character is automatically your hero?


RE: Culture in Decline
By ClownPuncher on 12/30/2013 2:05:47 PM , Rating: 2
Haha, Walter White isn't the hero of the show.


RE: Culture in Decline
By Ringold on 12/28/2013 3:05:53 PM , Rating: 2
I disagree because the list has one saving grace, as Jason pointed out. It's *mostly* character driven shows with story arcs that cross multiple episodes, requiring attention spans greater than zero.

Those are the shows that require nothing but a brain-dead zombie audience, and reality TV. If a plot-driven show like Game of Thrones is #1 and not "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo" then I think the world has hope. :P

In fact, if Honey Boo Boo was in the top 10, I'd be signing up for that one way trip to Mars. I've even got pretty mixed feelings about Duck Dynasty; watched a few episodes after the recent controversy to see what it was all about. Not sure I like the example set by clearly very intelligent people (they made millions from nothing, and just outmaneuvered the entire establishment media) intentionally acting dumb for the camera.


RE: Culture in Decline
By Cheesew1z69 on 12/28/2013 5:02:35 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
(they made millions from nothing, and just outmaneuvered the entire establishment media)
Yep, totally nothing, they don't make duck calls or anything.


RE: Culture in Decline
By Camikazi on 12/29/2013 12:06:38 PM , Rating: 2
You don't really know what that phrase means do you? Going from small beginning to making millions on a family run business with no real outside help is making millions from nothing. Not to mention they managed to get a TV show form this and make even more is amazing since a few years earlier no one would have thought it would go anywhere. They are obviously very intelligent people and know how to get things running.


RE: Culture in Decline
By nikon133 on 12/28/2013 4:14:09 PM , Rating: 2
I guess funny is also in the eye of beholder.

Most of my colleagues watch and enjoy Big Bang... me included. I work for small IT company, most people there are gamers, Star Trek re-watchers... some of them even still play Star Trek Online. And, of course, comics. Your average, off-the-shelve geeky environment.

So there.


RE: Culture in Decline
By Reclaimer77 on 12/29/2013 2:40:32 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
Most of my colleagues watch and enjoy Big Bang... me included.


So what does that prove? The average person has poor taste, we've already established that.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedd...

Here's Big Bang Theory with the laugh track removed. WOW OMG, it's so funny. And those jokes? Top notch writing there, no really, soooo good. The acting and delivery of such lines? Horrible. Without the laugh track to aid this garbage, it comes off as if read from a teleprompter.

This is one of the worst sitcoms in years, and you and your "geek" friends are idiots and posers for watching such drivel.


RE: Culture in Decline
By Spuke on 12/29/2013 4:13:03 PM , Rating: 2
I don't care for Big Bang either but there are some funny moments. IMO, the laughter tracks always ruin shows but I find that comedies that don't have the viewership always have them, funny or not. If they get more viewership then they'll rate a live audience.


RE: Culture in Decline
By Cheesew1z69 on 12/29/2013 10:24:40 PM , Rating: 2
I believe bbt is a live audience.


RE: Culture in Decline
By Spuke on 12/30/2013 2:23:17 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
I believe bbt is a live audience.
Ouch! If that's the case, the audience doesn't think it's all that funny.


RE: Culture in Decline
RE: Culture in Decline
By Kiffberet on 12/30/2013 8:26:26 AM , Rating: 3
Reclaimer77 - what a dickhead.


RE: Culture in Decline
By jimbojimbo on 12/30/2013 10:42:23 AM , Rating: 2
I'm Reclaimer! If you don't like what I like and like what I hate then you are stupid! I am god!
Really? Are you 10 years old?
I actually like a majority of those shows and like someone here said I'm just incredibly glad that Honey Boo Boo or Jersey Shore or some real crap like that isn't on the list. Then again it could be people that watch those shows can't even figure out how to use torrents.


RE: Culture in Decline
By Kiffberet on 12/30/2013 8:22:11 AM , Rating: 2
The fact that these shows make it overseas actually tells you that American Culture is growing.


RE: Culture in Decline
By Argon18 on 12/30/2013 9:09:31 AM , Rating: 2
As it has been for a long time. Its funny to see journalist footage of islamic riots and terrorists in the middle east, where the participants are wearing Gap and Levi's.


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