According to MUSO, a data firm that analyzes that specializes in web-based private eye work, Game of Throne's premiere was pirated a whopping 54 million times within 24 hours of its original airing. MUSO also lists the viewership "Winterfell" in the 17 million range. When you account for the successive airings that ensued after its 10 pm start time, the total easily eclipsed the 1 billion mark in total views.

Based on their findings, the highest piracy rates were reported in China and India. MUSO believes the Chinese GOT fanbase was mad with envy over the government 's censorship plan that saw a 6-minute sex scene omitted from the Mandarin-Cantonese regional broadcasts - so planned around the wall.

“Despite considerable global efforts to tackle piracy over the past couple of years, this data shows that consumers are still being driven to unlicensed sources to find content,” MUSO chairman Andy Chatterley wrote in a statement. “It’s imperative that rights holders understand that piracy audiences are some of their most dedicated fans, which, above all else, presents a vast commercial opportunity.”

As a consequence of the big hype job leading into Season 8, many GOT fans resorted to streaming/torrenting the first 7 Seasons in the months that preceded Sunday's unveiling. MUSO says Game of Thrones content occupies just about every spot in the field surveys they've employed in the past month or so. Interestingly enough, streaming partners like Amazon and Hulu were not counted among the 54 mill they found in the ballot box.

[Via]