Game of Thrones has claimed the dubious crown of 'most-pirated TV show of the year' for the third consecutive time.
The hugely successful HBO drama is estimated to have been illegally downloaded a whopping 8.1 million times, according to news site TorrentFreak.
The series beat its nearest rivals by a long way for this illegal accolade. The second most-pirated show of 2014 was zombie apocalypse drama The Walking Dead with 3.6 million and The Big Bang Theory with 3.9 million.
Game of Thrones season 5 cast
Game of Thrones season 5 cast
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Oscar-nominated New Zealand actress Keisha Castle-Hughes will play the fiery Obara Sand, one of Prince Oberyn’s illegitimate daughters, who is seeking revenge for her father’s murder at the hands of the Mountain in season four
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Nymeria “Nym” Sand will be played by Jessica Henwick, her best known role to date is in television series Silk and Spirit Warriors
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Jonathan Pryce will star as the High Sparrow, a religious figure who could be making waves in King’s Landing
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Alexander Siddig, who will be playing Doran Martell, the stoic ruler of Dorne and the older brother of the gruesomely slain Oberyn
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Enzo Cilenti (left) will take on the part of the slave trader Yezzan
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London-born star DeObia Oparei will play Areo Hotah, the loyal protector of Doran Martell
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Rosabell Laurenti Sellers will play Tyene Sand, one of the illegitimate daughters of Oberyn Martell, the Prince of Dorne
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Myrcella Baratheon will be played by newcomer Nell Tiger Free
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Newcomer Toby Sebastian will take on the role of Trystane Martell, the youngest son of Doran
The figures do not take into account streaming, which suggests that the overall piracy figures could be “significantly higher”.
Game of Thrones has had phenomenal global success and has won countless awards, including two gongs at this year’s Creative Arts Emmys. It also boasts a huge fanbase from around the world.
In the US the show is broadcast on HBO, which people have to pay to access. Similarly, in the UK viewers need a paid subscription to watch the show on Sky Atlantic.
The fact that you need subscriptions to watch Game of Thrones on both sides of the Atlantic could account for the high level of piracy.
There is also a 24 hour gap between the US and UK broadcast, which may lead some impatient British fans to illegally watch it prior to the broadcast.
Game of Thrones has already broken the record for the most-shared torrent with 254,114 people sharing it at the same time.
The fifth season of Game of Thrones is currently in production and will be broadcast in 2015.
Top 10 most pirated shows of 2014
1. Game of Thrones
Estimated downloads: 8,100,000
2. The Walking Dead
Estimated downloads: 4,800,000
3. The Big Bang Theory
Estimated downloads: 3,900,000
4. How I Met Your Mother
Estimated downloads: 3,500,000
Estimated downloads: 3,200,000
Estimated downloads: 2,900,000
7. Grey’s Anatomy
Estimated downloads: 2,800,000
Estimated downloads: 2,700,000
Estimated downloads: 2,500,000
10. South Park
Estimated downloads: 2,400,000Reuse content