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A report by analytics company MUSO (via TorrentFreak) has revealed that the first episode of Game of Thrones season eight was illegally pirated over 54-million times within its first 24 hours.
According to HBO, the episode accumulated 17.4-million views on its official streaming platforms, meaning that most of show’s viewers turned to illegal sources. This could be attributed to the fact that HBO, the company that produces and streams Game of Thrones, is only available in the United States.
“It’s imperative that rights holders understand that piracy audiences are some of their most dedicated fans, which, above all else, presents a vast commercial opportunity,” said MUSO CEO Andy Chatterley.
The company also revealed that illegal downloads were highest in India, with 9.5-million pirated downloads and streams. China came second with 5.2-million, and the US itself with 4-million.
Other countries where pirating Game of Thrones was rife included the UK, Australia, Nigeria, Canada, and France.
Feature image: screenshot, Game of Thrones via YouTube