The season 5 premier of 'The Walking Dead' has broken piracy records for the show, with nearly four times as many downloaders compared to previous season premiers.
According to stats released by piracy tracking firm Excipio, the season's premier episode 'No Sanctuary', was downloaded by 1.27 million unique IP addresses in the first 24 hours alone. The 2012 premier, in comparison, "only" attracted 297,000 unique IP addresses.
The growing popularity of the show may account for the increased download stats.
Despite Fox International Channels reducing the broadcasting window for the show around the world, including in Australia, the shows remains popular with pirates in key overseas markets.
Australia however was not the top download spot for the show unlike with 'Game of Thrones'. This may be due to the improved legal availability of The Walking Dead in Australia compared to Game of Thrones - a delay of days compared to weeks on iTunes, for example. The Walking Dead is also available on a more basic cable package than Game of Thrones - all contributing factors to Australia not being the top download spot for the show.
Despite the record piracy rate for the new season of the zombie series, Game of Thrones still retains the throne for being the piracy king around the world, with its own season 5 premier expected to break all records when it premiers in 2015.