Despite the leak of season five’s first four episodes, Game of Thrones has broken its own audience record, with the premier of season 5. This is major, concerning that the Thrones franchise is one of the most pirated series. It seems that illegal downloads, and illicit press leaks just can’t slow them down.
According to Variety, the shows initial airing garnished over 8 million viewers, which is a 17% rise from last year’s premier of nearly 7 million. The show’s success has risen every year, and shows no signs of slowing down. In 2011, Game of Thrones brought an estimated 2.2 million viewers. Now it has nearly quadrupled.
The Game of Thrones’ showrunners said that they had initially been considering 7 seasons, but with its success, HBO would like to see that raised to 10 seasons, which some say, with the rise in viewers, it is a no brainer. This would make for one of the longest running HBO series in its history. The piracy issue has been addressed on many levels, HBO is not happy with the recent leaks either, but the success in the show is revealed by the fact that even with piracy and leaks, they’re still gaining viewers.
HBO has sent take down notices to Periscope, after the users of the live-streaming app broadcasted the Game of Thrones premiere, Sunday night. Periscope is owned by Twitter, and it allows people to live stream video, directly through their phones and HBO is clearly not fond of this. But with records like this, it goes to show that leaks and piracy can’t stop Game of Thrones.