The Mandalorian was the most pirated TV show of 2020, taking the spot left vacant after the final season of Game of Thrones aired in 2019, TorrentFreak reported.
It should come as no surprise that Disney’s hit Star Wars spin-off series was a popular BitTorrent download, as the Disney+ streaming service which hosts The Mandalorian only became more widely available during 2020.
Before March, Disney+ was only available in six countries: Canada, The Netherlands, the United States, Australia, New Zealand, and Puerto Rico.
Disney+ started rolling out in many more countries from March 2020 and by the end of the year was available in 58 countries. South Africa is not one of them.
While Disney+ is not legally available in most of the world, other shows on TorrentFreak’s top ten list of most pirated shows indicate that availability is not the only issue.
The second-most torrented show of 2020 was The Boys, and the fifth-most pirated show was Star Trek: Picard, reported TorrentFreak.
Both of these shows are available on Amazon Prime Video, which has launched all over the world except China, Iran, North Korea, and Syria.
TorrentFreak suggests that part of the reason for the “piracy problem” is because of how fragmented the video entertainment space has become.
“The top three nicely shows how fragmented the online entertainment industry has become. In order to watch all three series, one needs three separate subscriptions,” it reported.
TorrentFreak’s statement is true for South Africa, except that The Mandalorian is not legally available here. To watch The Mandalorian in South Africa you have to either download it via BitTorrent, watch it on a pirate streaming site, or use a VPN to fool Disney+ into thinking you are in one of its supported countries.
The Boys is on Amazon Prime Video, which is available in South Africa.
Westworld, which was the third-most pirated show of 2020, is an HBO show which is available on DStv and Showmax.
TorrentFreak argued that subscribing to all these different services is not a cost everyone may be able to afford.
It is telling that no Netflix Original shows are on TorrentFreak’s lists.
This suggests that Netflix either didn’t release anything popular enough to warrant large amounts of BitTorrent piracy or that most people who would pirate over BitTorrent have Netflix subscriptions.
However, 2020 was the year that Netflix released Tiger King, which quickly became a cultural phenomenon. Netflix also released the acclaimed Queen’s Gambit, a new season of The Crown, and it distributed the new season of Star Trek: Discovery outside the U.S. and Canada.
“It’s worth noting that BitTorrent traffic only makes up a small portion of the piracy landscape. A lot of people use streaming sites and services nowadays, which generally do not report viewing stats,” TorrentFreak stated.
The following table shows the top 10 most pirated TV shows of 2020, according to TorrentFreak:
|Rank||Last year||Show title|
|5||N/A||Star Trek: Picard|
|6||(8)||Rick and Morty|