The first episode of the new season of Game of Thrones aired early on Monday morning – 12 hours later, more than a million people had downloaded it via BitTorrent.
This is according to TorrentFreak, which reported that it took half a day on torrent sites for the season 6 premiere to reach 200,000 people actively sharing the episode.
Looking at the download locations, TorrentFreak said the pirates appear to come from all over the world.
It said the new episode was particularly popular in Australia, India, the United States, and the United Kingdom.
The show was also popular among South Africans, with the country coming in ninth place for downloads during the first 12 hours.
TorrentFreak noted that its data is skewed due to time differences, as its sample of 10,000 downloaders was taken over a 12-hour period.
Based on its sample, countries were ranked by the number of Game of Thrones season 6, episode 1 downloaders:
- United States
- United Kingdom
- South Africa
- Saudi Arabia
TorrentFreak said an interesting trend among pirates is a move from standard definition (480p) to high definition (720p and 1080p) video.
“A few years ago, roughly 10% downloaded HD copies, which are larger in size, but today this is getting close to 50%,” said TorrentFreak.