Foxtel Slams Game of Thrones Leak with 76% Growth

The figures are in, and if Foxtel was concerned about how the unfortunate arrival of the first episode of Game of Thrones on torrents would affect viewership, it needn’t have been.

If you’re a Game of Thrones fan, you’ve no doubt heard the news about the first four episodes of Season 5 leaking online this weekend past – you can read all about our related security concerns here. Whether it was a scorned intern or jealous ex-lover, we’ll never know how or why these episodes arrived online, but as a show already revealed as the most pirated in Australia, you’d expect the news to have been very bad for Foxtel.

Instead, the subscription TV provider has come out on the front foot today with some startling figures that show a dramatic increase in the number of paying eyeballs tuning in for the show. The 11am showing of Episode 1 on April 13 - which was simulcast in over 170 countries – managed to score 242,000 viewers, while the later 7.30pm replay brought in a further 311,000.

The total viewership of 553,000 for the day is a huge 76% increase on last season’s debut. That’s a phenomenal increase! It makes you wonder how big a role piracy has played in encouraging fans to upgrade to the full HD, safe, legal version of the show. It’s often said, people will be willing to pay for quality, and these numbers don’t lie.

Oh, and if you are a Game of Thrones fan, quick question - where would you live? Essos or Westeros? Compare the two continent’s living conditions here and make your vote.

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