New research into illegal file sharing shows that over the course of one week a raft of top scripted series were being shared by 3.7 million users around the world via the peer-to-peer BitTorrent network.
Anti-piracy tech firm Ceg Tek conducted the research ahead of the Cable Show, the cable industry trade show that is taking place in Los Angeles this week.
The single most shared show of the 175 current series monitored by Ceg Tek was HBO’s Game of Thrones. HBO was the hardest hit of the cable nets by file sharing because of the large numbers for the fantasy series.
AMC was the second ranked cable channel in terms of peer-to-peer sharing of its shows with The Walking Dead and Breaking Bad the most shared series. Ceg Tek reported that 301,601 users were accessing its content every day through the measurement period compared with 381,952 for HBO.
The channel hit hardest overall by P2P sharing of its shows was broadcast network CBS, mirroring, in part, its success in the regular TV ratings. It had 619,157 users illegally accessing its content. Its comedy series The Big Bang Theory was the single most illicitly shared CBS programme and the second most-shared overall. Another comedy, How I Met Your Mother, was the second hardest-hit CBS show.
ABC was behind CBS as the channel with the second highest number of shows being shared. Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. was the most shared show on the net, ahead of Grey’s Anatomy.
After HBO in third was the CW with superhero show Arrow its most shared title. Of the broadcast nets, Fox was the fourth ranked and NBC fifth with Cosmos A Space Time Odyssey and Hannibal the most shared recurring shows respectively.
Of the cable nets the ranking behind HBO and AMC was, in order, FX, Showtime, History, Starz, A&E, PBS, BBC America and Cinemax.
Ceg Tek also monitored how often Netflix’s original series were being shared via BitTorrent. Despite a relatively small number of original series it was the tenth-placed ‘channel’ in terms of sharing. House of Cards was its most shared title ahead of From Dusk Till Dawn, Orange is the New Black and Arrested Development.
Ceg Tek said its research provided a glimpse of the scale and impact piracy has on TV series and channels and OTT services.