Most pirated TV shows 2012: 'Game of Thrones,' 'Dexter' tops

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Congratulations HBO and Showtime! Game of Thrones and Dexter have topped yet another honorary year-end list. Though perhaps it’s not one you want to be on…

According to an annual list posted by a file-sharing news site TorrentFreak, Thrones and Dexter were the most-pirated TV shows of 2012. In fact, the second season finale of Thrones was reportedly downloaded 4.3 million times. If correct, that’s almost as many downloads as the number of viewers Nielsen reported watching the finale on HBO the night it aired (5.1 million).

About 80 percent of TV piracy, the site noted, is from outside the United States, with many viewers downloading episodes from BitTorrent because they lack a convenient and legal way to view the episodes online in a timely manner. “Airing delays and HBO’s choice not to make [Thrones] widely available online are two of the top reasons why so many people pirated the show,” the site claimed, then predicted that illegal TV series downloads will decrease dramatically as networks continue to find ways to make in-demand shows quickly available online worldwide.

CBS’ Big Bang Theory and How I Met Your Mother were next on the most-wanted list, followed by AMC’s Breaking Bad and The Walking Dead. Showtime’s Homeland, Fox’s House and Fringe also made the Top 10. Plus, there was one new show on the list: NBC’s Revolution.

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