NBC’s sci fi series Heroes was the most popular show with illegal downloaders in 2009, continuing to top the chart with pirates despite dwindling ratings.
Torrent site Torrentfreak released figures showing that Heroes was downloaded over 6.5 million times per episode in the United States, more than the show’s estimated average TV viewership of 5.9 million.
Other notable trends included the increase of downloads for premium pay series including Showtime’s serial killer thriller Dexter and HBO’s vampire drama True Blood, which are not widely available on TV screens. Dexter was downloaded 2.8 million times per episode, compared to its average TV audience of 2.3 million, while True Blood also saw 1.6 million downloads per week.
ABC’s hospital drama Grey’s Anatomy was a new entry to the list and significant as the first female skewing series to be widely illegally downloaded, where the majority of pirates are thought to be male.
The full top ten list of illegal TV downloads in 2009 is: Heroes, Lost, Prison Break, Dexter, House, 24, Desperate Housewives, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Grey’s Anatomy and True Blood.