Game of Thrones aired its first episode on Sunday night in the US and got record viewership. However, the humongous numbers paled in front of the audience that saw the first episode illegally. As per a report in The Verge, the season 8 premiere had close to 55 million pirated views in the first 24 hours. This proves that no matter how crazy people are about Game Of Thrones, the desire to watch it for free is even greater. It was viewed across illegal streams, downloads and torrents as per a survey conducted by analytics firm MUSO. The firm also gave a breakdown of the illegal viewership. It seems 76.6 per cent came from unofficial streams of the first episode, with downloads making up 12.2 per cent of views and public torrents 10.8 per cent. The least was made up of private torrents 0.5 per cent.
It is evident that unofficial streams account for the most pirated views. The maximum illegal viewership came from India followed by China. Officially, HBO had 17.4 million viewers for the first episode across its three platforms, the premium cable channel, and streaming services, HBO Go and HBO Now. While 11.8 million folks saw it on the traditional medium i.e. TV channel, around 5.6 million saw it officially on the digital platforms. The channel is expecting the viewership to pick up rapidly but it is estimated that pirated views will also increase.
The Verge shared MUSO's data that said that around 10 million pirated views came from India, where HBO is not a very popular channel. Close to five million pirated views came from China that shows a censored version of Game of Thrones through its official channels. While it is easy to access HBO in the US, people still proved that they don't like to pay. Around four million illegal views came from the country. There is immense anticipation amongst fans for this season of Game of Thrones. The first episode trended crazily on Twitter in India. HBO is most likely to shatter its own records here. However, we are yet to recover from the staggering number of 55 million illegal views. What say?
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