Almost a full day before the first new episode of Game of Thrones was set to premiere, the first four episodes of the new season of the popular show have leaked online.
This after HBO took extraordinary steps to ensure the series airs at the same time in 170 countries.
South Africa is among the 170 countries, with DStv set to show the premiere of season 5 of Game of Thrones on M-Net Edge (DStv 102) at 03:00 on Monday morning (13 April 2015).
Torrentfreak reported that the copies were first seen on private torrent tracker IPT, but they soon made their way to open trackers such as The Pirate Bay, RARBG and KickassTorrents.
“During the first three hours the episodes were downloaded more than 100,000 times and this number is expected to increase to more than a million later today,” Torrentfreak said, adding that the leak most likely comes from review copies sent to the press.
Update: HBO has provided the following statement when asked for comment: “Sadly, it seems the leaked four episodes of the upcoming season of Game of Thrones originated from within a group approved by HBO to receive them. We’re actively assessing how this breach occurred.”