LOS ANGELES, Dec. 28 (UPI) — HBO’s hit fantasy drama Game of Thrones has been named the most pirated show of 2015.
According to TorrentFreak which tracks how often a show is illegally downloaded, the show has topped the most-pirated list for the fourth year in a row with Season 5’s controversial finale being downloaded a hefty 14.4 million times through file-sharing client BitTorrent.
Comparatively, other popular shows such as The Walking Dead and The Big Bang Theory were downloaded 6.9 million and 4.4 million times respectively.
The 14.4 million downloads also far surpasses the roughly 8 million viewers who tuned into the show legally on HBO. Back in April, the premiere cable channel also ran into problems with torrent sites when the first four epodes of Season 5 leaked online prior to the season premiere.
The leak caused HBO to warn torrenters to not illegally download the show, sending notices to users whose connections were used to share the leaked episodes.
Earlier this month, HBO released the first teaser trailer for Season 6 featuring Jon Snow (Kit Harrington) in a flashback sequence and the return of Bran Stark (Isaac Hempstead Wright). For Season 6, director Jeremy Podeswa who is set to direct several upcoming episodes admitted that the series would be undergoing some changes following fan backlash over a controversial rape scene involving Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner).