The “Game of Thrones” season three premiere, “Valar Dohaeris,” has already been downloaded thousands of times hours after its first showing on HBO. Expect the third season of HBO’s hit show to reclaim the title of “most downloaded television show.”
Kickass Torrents has several downloads of the “Game of Thrones” season three premiere, first airing on HBO at 9 p.m. EDT on March 31, with the most popular having more than 110,000 “seeders” and more than 52,000 “leechers.”
Seeders are users who have already downloaded the “Game of Thrones” episode but are now acting as uploaders so other users can download the file while leechers are users who are currently downloading the file and sharing what portion of the file they have. More seeders increase the download speed of a torrent. For “Valar Dohaeris,” there are plenty of options all with thousands of seeders and leechers.
On Kickass Torrents, there are 57 links for the “Game of Thrones” season three premiere with 14 torrents having at least 1,000 seeders. A search for “Game of Thrones” on The Pirate Bay yields similar results for “Valar Dohaeris.”
“Game of Thrones” is more than just a popular television show on HBO as it also features a cultural buzz that's due, in some part, to sharing on the Internet. A quick search on Twitter shows more than 40,000 tweets about “Game of Thrones,” and its return to HBO on Sunday, within the last 24 hours. The show’s buzz on social media sites, as well as on downloading and streaming sites, has made “Game of Thrones” a cultural phenomenon, and HBO is quite happy with that and even calls the piracy a “compliment.”
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Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, Michael Lombardo, HBO programming president, said that illegal downloading and piracy of “Game of Thrones” has not hurt DVD sales. Despite more than 4 million downloads of each episode of the second season of “Game of Thrones,” the recently released DVD’s sold 241,000 copies on the first day, notes EW. Lombardo said to EW, “I probably shouldn’t be saying this, but it is a compliment of sort,” and he also mentions that “Game of Thrones” is HBO’s biggest moneymaker, based on international and domestic DVD sales.
The success of “Game of Thrones” also means more subscribers for HBO. Lombardo reiterates that HBO is anti-piracy and the network tries to prevent any instance of systematic piracy, where individuals sell pirated versions of the show. As for individual downloads, Lombardo says that they have not taken an aggressive approach to online piracy, saying to EW, “We haven’t sent out the 'Game of Thrones' police.”
Overnight ratings have not been released yet for “Game of Thrones” but “Valar Dohaeris” is expected to be a hit for HBO. To read a recap of the season three premiere of “Game of Thrones” visit here.