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'Game of Thrones' retains crown as most pirated TV show

By Mandi Bierly, EW
updated 10:02 AM EST, Fri December 27, 2013
Catelyn Stark (Michelle Fairley) seizes Walder Frey's wife (Kelly Long) in an episode of
Catelyn Stark (Michelle Fairley) seizes Walder Frey's wife (Kelly Long) in an episode of "Game of Thrones."
  • "Game of Thrones" once again tops the list of most pirated shows
  • HBO exec has called it a "compliment of sorts"
  • Other top shows include "Breaking Bad" and "The Walking Dead"

( -- It seems like everyone, with or without HBO, knew about the "Game of Thrones" Red Wedding episode — which could explain why the show once again tops TorrentFreak's annual list of the most pirated TV shows.

Per the site, "GoT's" season 3 finale bloodbath was downloaded an estimated 5.9 million times via BitTorrent. After the show topped the charts in illegal downloads in 2012, HBO programming president Michael Lombardo told EW he considered it, "a compliment of sorts": "The demand is there. And it certainly didn't negatively impact the DVD sales. [Piracy is] something that comes along with having a wildly successful show on a subscription network."

Rounding out the Top 10 of 2013, however, is a mix of pay cable, basic cable, and broadcast shows: Breaking Bad (an average of 4.2 million per episode), The Walking Dead (3.6 million), The Big Bang Theory (3.4 million), Dexter (3.1 million), How I Met Your Mother (3.0 million), Suits (2.6 million), Homeland (2.4 million), Vikings (2.3 million), and Arrow (2.2 million).

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