The season five finale of TV series Game of Thrones has set a new piracy record.
Torrent files of the episode were downloaded a staggering 1.5 million times in just eight hours, breaking the previous record also set by the show.
“Based on this figure, the download count is expected to increase to more than 10 million during the days to come.”
The episode also broke the record for most people sharing a single torrent file simultaneously. At 07:45, there were 258,131 users sharing the episode.
Game of Thrones has consistently remained the most pirated TV show over the past three years.
Currently, the lower quality 480p resolution versions of the show’s episodes are the most popular, followed by 720p, and then Full HD 1080p. The larger file size that encumbers high-resolution content is likely a turn-off for many downloaders.
The first four episodes of Game of Thrones were leaked prior to airing on TV earlier this year.
Game of Thrones network HBO subsequently posted thousands of warnings to internet users whose connections were used to share the leaked episodes.
Back in 2013, however, HBO’s programming president Michael Lombardo described the rampant piracy of the show as “a compliment of sorts.”
“The demand is there. And it certainly didn’t negatively impact the DVD sales,” he continued. “[Piracy is] something that comes along with having a wildly successful show on a subscription network.”