10 May 2012
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Game of Pirates

In a further sign that winter is coming for movie and TV studios, the second season of HBO’s Game of Thrones is on track to become the most pirated show of 2012.

Forbes has reported figures from BitTorrent tracking firm Big Champagne showing that episodes of the popular programme have been downloaded more than 25 million times since the first aired in April.

The April 30 episode experienced more than 2.5 million downloads in a single day.

HBO reportedly spent between US$50 million and US$60 million on the first season, and upped the budget 15% for the second; however, with three more novels in print (or four, if you count Storm of Swords as two) and two more on the way, even HBO can’t continue to fund the show unless they see a return.

The problem is that even in the US the show is only available via HBO’s own streaming service, HBO Go, which requires a full subscription. There’s no access on Netflix or Hulu, iTunes only offers season 1 – and things only gets harder if you live overseas.

As with the characters in the show itself, HBO has a fine line to walk if it is to continue making money from the series, and avoid disappointing the show’s massive fan base. The current mode certainly doesn’t seem to be working.

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