The fourth season of The Walking Dead has premiered to record audiences, both from legal sources and illegal ones. Despite international distributor 20th Fox's plans to battle piracy, torrent download records for the show were broken for the season 4 premier episode '30 Days Without an Accident'.
20th Fox's anti-piracy initiative revolved around getting the show aired around the world within 24 hours of the original US airing, thus removing the pesky intentional delay windows that turn off many viewers. But despite these efforts, more than half a million users chose to use torrent a pirated version of the episode within a day of the original airing, although this number could have been even higher had it not been for the reduced delay window.
Statistics obtained by TorrentFreak shows that most TWD pirates actually originated within the United States. This is despite the premier episode being available for free legal streaming in the US.
In Australia, where subscription TV operator Foxtel has exclusive airing rights to the show, the premier episode was shown just 90 minutes after the original US broadcast, on a basic cable channel that comes with every (cable or satellite based) subscription. Despite this, more than 10% of pirates came from Australia, the third most common country. The cheapest basic cable package from Foxtel, Australia's only cable operator, comes in at $USD 45 per month.
Interestingly, the Philippines was the 4th most popular country for pirates, beating Canada.