Top Gear’s spiritual successor The Grand Tour has become the most illegally downloaded television show in history.
The show, which contains ex-Top Gear members Jeremy Clarkson, James May, and Richard Hammond, was bought by Amazon for $160 million last year and is currently only available on Amazon Prime’s streaming service.
Since its November debut, the show’s first episode has been illegally downloaded more than 7.9 million times.
The second episode has also been illegally downloaded more than 6.4 million times, while the third episode is around 4.6 million.
13.7% of the illegal downloads were from Britain, who were reported to be “the worst culprits.”
“It is the most illegally downloaded programme ever. It is off the scale in terms of volume,” said Chris Elkins, the chief commercial officer for anti-piracy company Muso.
However, despite the high-level of piracy, Amazon declared in a statement. “The Grand Tour has become the biggest show premiere ever on Amazon Prime Video, breaking records around the world.”
Some users on Reddit attributed the high piracy rate to Amazon Prime’s limited availability worldwide.
“Really not surprising considering amazon still isn’t available where i am,” commented one user on the show’s subreddit. “Did they really think people would wait?”
Others also claimed that the service was not yet available in their respective countries, while some admitted to pirating the show for different reasons.
“I’m in the UK and have amazon prime, but I pirated it anyway since I prefer to have my own personal copies of things that I can enjoy offline/on the go without having to worry about streaming it or accidentally letting my subscription run out and losing access to it altogether,” claimed another Reddit user. “Also, living in a rural area with ropey internet, it’s super frustrating to sit down to watch something just to have it keep buffering every few minutes and constantly switch between HD and potato quality.”
A number of Canadians also claimed that they couldn’t access the show on their Amazon Prime accounts, while Australian fans added that since Prime is a new service in the country, many of the features such as video streaming are currently unavailable.