'Game of Thrones,' 'Dexter' most pirated TV shows of 2012

game-of-thrones-dexter-most-pirated-tv-shows-2012.jpg"Game of Thrones", "Dexter" and "The Big Bang Theory" were the most pirated TV shows of 2012 according to file-sharing news site TorrentFreak.

HBO's "Game of Thrones" took the dubious top honor with 4.28 million illegal downloads on BitTorrent for a single episode. Last year's No. 1 draw, "Dexter," fell to second place in 2012 with 3.85 million downloads.

TorrentFreak cites international restrictions, delays and unavailability online as the primary reason viewers turn to piracy, noting that more than 80 percent of the illegal downloads occur outside the United States.

"Homeland," which airs after "Dexter" on Showtime, is the only other premium cable series in the pirated Top 10 list. "Breaking Bad" and "The Walking Dead" from AMC -- which was briefly dumped by the Dish network -- are the only basic cable entries.

Rounding out the list are network series "The Big Bang Theory," "How I Met Your Mother," "House," "Fringe" and surprise newcomer "Revolution."

Here are the list of 2012's most-downloaded TV shows (single episode) according to data collected by TorrentFreak and BitTorrent trackers:

1. "Game of Thrones" (4,280,000)
2. " Dexter" (3,850,000)
3. "The Big Bang Theory" (3,200,000)
4. "How I Met Your Mother" (2,960,000)
5. "Breaking Bad" (2,580,000)
6. "The Walking Dead" (2,550,000)
7. "Homeland" (2,400,000)
8. "House" (2,340,000)
9. "Fringe" (2,280,000)
10. "Revolution" (2,130,000)
Photo/Video credit: HBO/Showtime
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