HBO’s Game of Thrones got its fifth season premiere Sunday night, but fans of the show will likely be binging on its first four episodes instead of just watching the premiere.
Over the weekend the series saw its first four episodes leak, with the likely source being copies sent to reviewers.
“Sadly, it seems the leaked four episodes of the upcoming season of Game of Thrones originated from within a group approved by HBO to receive them.” HBO said. “We’re actively assessing how this breach occurred.”
The episodes are in 480p quality with a watermark in the bottom being blurred out. Once the episodes appeared online they quickly became the top torrent on leading torrent sites such as The Pirate Bay, RARBG and KickassTorrents.
HBO premiered the show in over 170 countries simultaneously — everywhere that HBO is available — in an attempt to decrease piracy.
According to a report by TorrentFreak they were downloaded more than 100,000 times within the first three hours of them appearing online.
Having a hotly anticipated show like Game of Thrones leak early is rare considering the security the studios exercise to keep the episodes safe before their broadcast.
Game of Thrones has historically been the most pirated TV show since its first season, and it looks as if this season will not be any different. The leak and piracy of the series shows the wild success HBO has on its hands. Maybe its new HBO Now platform will convert some of these pirates into happy HBO subscribers.