The Mandalorian is most pirated show of 2020

The Mandalorian topped the rankings of TV shows that were pirated in 2020, ending several years in which Game of Thrones took the dubious honour.

An annual update by TorrentFreak found that the science fiction show – a spin-off of Disney’s Star Wars franchise which has just completed its second season – headed the rankings above Prime Video's The Boys and HBO's Westworld series. It was third in the 2019 listing.

Game of Thrones dominated the list for years but now the long-running fantasy drama has drawn to a close other shows have been in the spotlight.

TorrentFreak notes that the top three pirated shows – all from different networks – are an indication of how fragmented the sector has become since other platforms have come forward to challenge once-dominant Netflix.

It also ties in with predictions that piracy is starting to climb again now that consumers may need to purchase multiple monthly subscriptions to keep abreast of all the most popular shows.

There had been suggestions that piracy was in decline when Netflix’ modest monthly subscription fee was a one-stop route to a high volume of content, including top programming now diverted elsewhere.

Other top-ranked shows for pirating included Vikings, Star Trek: Picard, Rick and Morty and The Walking Dead.

Figures published by cybersecurity company DataProt in November estimated that almost 127bn  viewings worth of US-produced TV episodes are pirated every year, supplied by around 17m stream-rippers.

It also suggested illegal downloading of copyrighted materials takes up nearly a quarter of global bandwidth, and costs the movie industry somewhere between $40bn and $97bn, whilst also costing 70,000 jobs a year in the US music industry.

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