08/09/2017 1:49 PM AEST | Updated 08/09/2017 1:49 PM AEST

The Seventh Season Of 'Game Of Thrones' Illegally Downloaded Over A Billion Times

The season finale was illegally downloaded or streamed more than 120 million times within its first 72 hours.


LOS ANGELES (Variety.com) -- The seventh season of 'Game of Thrones' has been illegally downloaded or streamed more than 1 billion times.

According to a report from anti-piracy firm MUSO, the seven episodes of 'Game of Thrones' season seven each averaged 14.7 billion illegal views through September 3. Within the first 72 hours of its initial broadcast, the season premiere was illegally downloaded or streamed more than 90 million times. The season finale was illegally downloaded or streamed more than 120 million times within its first 72 hours.

Of the 1.03 billion total piracy instances for the season 84.66% were streams, 9.12% were torrents, and 5.59% were downloads.

"'Game of Thrones' has become one of the biggest global entertainment phenomena of today and activity across piracy networks has been totally unprecedented," said Andy Chatterley, co-founder and CEO of MUSO.

Right before the seventh season began HBO suffered a huge breach of their servers which saw full episodes of 'Game of Thrones' released early. If that wasn't bad enough, the sixth episode was also available to torrent websites early after HBO Nordic and HBO España accidentally aired the episode early. The same happened to the fourth episode when Star India aired it before the episode's official date.

"It's no secret that HBO has been plagued by security breaches throughout the latest season, which has seen some episodes leak before broadcast and added to unlicensed activity. In addition to the scale of piracy when it comes to popular shows, these numbers demonstrate that unlicensed streaming can be a far more significant type of piracy than torrent downloads. At MUSO, we look at all types of piracy, not just torrents, and that is why these numbers have been illuminated."

In the past, Australia was deemed one of the worst in pirating, as a nation we ranked the top offenders of illegal piracy for several years, with our appetite for 'Game of Thrones' most often to blame. This year may have seen a drop in Aussie pirating however due to both ease of access and torrenting sites becoming more difficult to access.

According to Foxtel, 'Game of Thrones' averaged 1.22 million viewers per episode, with the season seven finale breaking a rating record for Foxtel with an audience of 887,000 initial viewers. Last year Foxtel offered discounted memberships for the duration of the sixth season of 'Game of Thrones' but this year they announced a new non-contract streaming service where members could watch the series for just $15 a month.

In recent months Australia has tightened its security against torrenting websites, after Foxtel and Village Roadshow campaigned for laws demanding ISPs block certain pirating sites.