TV piracy growing rapidly in UK, Data Show *TorrentFreak

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Nearly half of all piracy traffic is TV-related and the number of illegal downloads and streams continues to rise. This growth is particularly strong in the United Kingdom which, in absolute figures, is now ranked third of all countries in the world. Interestingly, people are even pirating content that they can watch legally, for free.

There is no doubt that, for many people, on-demand streaming services have become the norm for watching TV shows.

The convenience of watching television series at the pace of the viewer is common these days. It was quite different 15 years ago, when the on-demand experience was pretty much exclusive to hackers.

TV piracy boom

Times have clearly changed, but some old habits can be hard to break. Over the past year, online piracy has increased globally and most of this growth is due to TV pirates, who are responsible for nearly half of the traffic to pirate sites.

The numbers are staggering. According to data released by piracy tracking firm MUSO, there were around 33.6 billion visits to piracy websites for TV content in the first four months of this year.

Most of this traffic came from the United States and Russia. This is no surprise, as these are two of the most populous countries in the world. What is surprising, however, is that the UK quickly climbed the ladder and now sits in third place.

British pirates rise through the ranks

Just a year ago, the UK was in sixth place, so it’s clear that interest in TV show piracy has increased over the past 12 months.

“Interestingly, demand from the UK has increased year on year, with the UK now ranked 3rd in the consumption list by country, compared to 6th over the same period in 2021,” writes MUSO.

tv piracy

TV piracy: January – April 2022, streaming & torrents. Data from

MUSO data also shows that cost is not always the main driver for UK hackers. Even when a TV show is available for free through legal channels, people can still pirate it instead.

This is also the case for the last season of Peaky Blinders. Although it was available for free through the BBC, many people still chose to pirate it instead. Maybe out of habit.

“Peaky Blinders S6 2022 was streaming for free in the UK, but the UK is still ranked 9th country in the global demand list for this title. [March 2022]. This confirms a trend we’ve seen before that suggests audiences are getting used to the viewing experience of a platform, whether it’s legal or not,” MUSO notes.

Subscription fatigue

Based on the raw data, it is difficult to find an explanation for the global increase in TV piracy. One potential factor is the fact that legal TV content is scattered across multiple subscription services.

While most people are happy to pay for one or two services, some prefer to use pirate sites instead of paying yet another subscription. This subscription fatigue can drive up piracy numbers.

Looking at the list of the most pirated TV shows in the first quarter of 2022, the second season of the HBO show “Euphoria” tops the list, followed by the first seasons of “The Book of Boba Fett” and “Peacemaker “.

Unsurprisingly, these most pirated shows all come from paid subscription services.

The above shows that piracy is a complex phenomenon that is not solely driven by cost. Habits also play an important role. This means that it is crucial for content creators to remove any incentive people might have to use pirate sites and services.

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