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HBO's 'Game of Thrones' Season Premiere Breaks Online Piracy Records

Photo of Ryan Lattanzio By Ryan Lattanzio | TOH! April 4, 2013 at 4:58PM

The third season premiere of HBO's fantasy television series "Game of Thrones," which was just renewed for a fourth season, has broken yet another record after a wildly successful broadcast on the premium network last Sunday, March 31st.
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Game of Thrones

The third season premiere of HBO's fantasy television series "Game of Thrones," which was just renewed for a fourth season, has broken yet another record after a wildly successful broadcast on the premium network last Sunday, March 31st.

It was reported that mere hours after the episode's original 9 PM airtime, over 160,000 viewers had shared a single download using the peer-to-peer program BitTorrent. Simultaneously, over 50,00 were still downloading the premiere. This is a new record for online piracy, as the last placeholder was the 2008 season three premiere of late NBC sci-fi series "Heroes" with nearly 145,000 peers sharing on the network.

Despite competition with illegal downloading, HBO still did very well, racking in 4.4 million viewers during the original broadcast (read TOH's review and recap here). Two subsequent broadcasts brought the total to 6.7 million. The cable channel will likely continue to contend with online piracy, as Time Warner has yet to make HBO's OnDemand streaming service, HBOGo, available to non-subscribers.

This article is related to: Television, HBO, Game of Thrones, HBO's Game of Thrones, Game of Thrones


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Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.