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Heroes Top Torrented Show

Issued: October 01 2009

Research firm Big Champagne found the television programme Heroes, shown in this image from the NBC Universal online store, to be the most popular illegal download this year.

Millions of television viewers are using file-sharing services to access free and unauthorized copies of programmes, astudy by media measurement research firm Big Champagne has confirmed. The US drama Heroes was the most popular illegal download this year said the report, issued August 28.

About 55 million people downloaded the show, while 51 million downloaded Lost, the second most popular show. Big Champange also reported that visits to leading torrent sites, which index video and music files, have nearly doubled in the last year.

The proportion of file-sharing involving films and television rather than music is continuing to rise, the research shows. “Millions of television viewers now access free, unauthorized versions of favourite shows at least some of the time,” says Eric Garland, chief executive of Big Champagne. “This is a socially acceptable form of casual piracy - and it is replacing viewing hours.”

The top 10 downloaded shows are all from the US, with more than half of all downloads occurring outside the US. Studios have worked to decrease illegal downloading of their programmes by reducing the amount of time between their original airing and their airings overseas.


Top 10 Worldwide TV Torrents
Heroes 54,562,012
Lost 51,151,396
24 34,119,093
Prison Break 29,283,591
House 21,434,755
Fringe 21,434,755
Desperate Housewives 21,378,412
Grey's Anatomy 19,916,775
Gossip Girl 19,706,870
Smallville 19,598,999


Top 10 Worldwide Film Torrents

Watchmen 16,906,452
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button 13,133,137
Yes Man 13,038,364
Twilight 11,632,645
Fast and Furious 10,613,668
Gran Torino 9,880,700
Marley and Me 9,099,219
Slumdog Millionaire 8,840,884
Bolt 8,690,633
Australia 8,628,012
Source: Big Champagne


Peer-to-peer filesharing makes it more difficult for television to create artificial scarcity by selling programmes to different territories at different times, says Garland. “The idea that you can create artificial scarcity in certain territories
has gone.”


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