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June 12, 2012 by · 2 Comments 

HBO’s Game of Thrones may be the first television series whose illegal audience — those who watched without paying — exceeded its legitimate one, the Los Angeles Times observed today (Tuesday). The newspaper took note of a recent report by, which tracks BitTorrent usage, that the show was accessed illegally by 3.9 million filesharers. While that figure is somewhat below the 4.2 million viewers that HBO claims watched the show, a significant number of those viewers also watched it without paying for it by obtaining HBO GO passwords from relatives, co-workers and Facebook and Twitter friends, the New York Times recently reported. Oddly, most of the other shows on the TorrentFreak list were either broadcast network programs or basic cable ones. In second place, for example, was CBS’s How I Met Your Mother with 2.83 million downloads, which edged out the same network’s The Big Bang Theory with 2.75 million downloads. Other shows in the top ten: 5. Mad Men, 1.87 million; 6. Modern Family, 1.80 million; 7. Revenge, 1.73 million; 8. Desperate Housewives, 1.66 million; 9. Family Guy, 1.60 million; 10 Supernatural, 1.54 million.