'Game of Thrones' Season 3 has more illegal downloads than viewership

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"Game of Thrones" was not only the most downloaded show of the TV season, but also the most downloaded show of the year. In fact, the per episode illegal downloads figure is higher than the best ratings "Game of Thrones" has ever had.

According to file-sharing news site TorrentFreak, "Game of Thrones" has an estimated 5.9 million downloads per single episode. That number does not include online streaming and cyberlocker downloads, which would make the figure significantly higher. By contrast, "Game of Thrones" has an estimated 5.5 million TV viewers per single episode (though it's unclear how later viewings of the various episodes are factored into the number, if they are at all).

This is the second year in a row that "Game of Thrones" earned the title of "Most Pirated," and it's up a significant bit from its 4.28 million downloads per single episode in 2012. Hopefully that increase in interest really does benefit HBO, as the network is determined to keep its current content exclusive to their broadcast net and HBO Go.

Trailing behind "Game of Thrones" on the most downloaded list are "Breaking Bad" and "The Walking Dead." Here is the list of 2013's most-downloaded TV shows (single episode) according to data collected by TorrentFreak and BitTorrent trackers:

1. "Game of Thrones" (5.9 million)
2. "Breaking Bad" (4.2 million)
3. "The Walking Dead" (3.6 million)
4. "The Big Bang Theory" (3.4 million)
5. "Dexter" (3.1 million)
6. "How I Met Your Mother" (3.0 million)
7. "Suits" (2.6 million)
8."Homeland" (2.4 million)
9. "Vikings" (2.3 million)
10. "Arrow" (2.2 million)

Photo/Video credit: HBO
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