After helping to set the previous two piracy records, the season premier of HBO's hit show Game of Thrones has set yet another piracy record.
Now in its fourth season, the third season opener set new piracy records almost exactly a year ago, with a million downloads in the first day, and 160,000 simultaneous downloaders at its peak.
The concluding episode of season three, the one after the much talked about "red wedding", then went on to set a new record, with 170,000 simultaneous downloaders.
Now, the stats for the season four premier has been released by TorrentFreak, and it shatters all previous records. With more than a million copies downloaded in just half a day, and 300,000 simultaneous downloaders, potentially doubling last season's figures.
Aussies were once again the pirate kings, with 11.6% of all users (the most of any one country) coming from the land down under. That's up compared to the season 3 figures, and a rise that's understandable given the poor treatment Australians receives in terms of legal options. Due to an exclusivity deal with the country's only cable TV provider, Australians are denied the opportunity to purchase the show on iTunes or other legal download or streaming options until after the complete season has finished airing in the U.S.
The overall rise in illegal downloaders may also be related to the technical problems HBO subscribers experienced with the network's digital platform, HBO Go. GoT's popularity caused the entire platform to crash, perhaps forcing many to seek an illegal route to get their GoT fix.