According to Torrentfreak.com, Game of Thrones has the honour of becoming the most pirated TV-show of 2012, with 4,280,000 downloads for a single episode. More than 80% of TV-show piracy occurs outside the U.S. and lacking availability is the top reason why people turn to BitTorrent. Airing delays and HBO’s choice not to make it widely available online are two of the top reasons why so many people pirated Game of Thrones.
For instance, downloads for Game of Thrones is particularly popular in Australia, as Australian fans have to wait at least a week longer than those in the U.S. to view the show. This does not stop fans in the U.S. from downloading the show for free, although many have no qualms in paying if HBO offered a standalone HBO GO subscription. The challenge for TV companies such as HBO is to come up with a business model that allows users to consume what they want at any given time, without losing existing revenue in the process.
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