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September 2, 2015

BitTorrent's Top 10 TV shows (not that you would do that)

by Jason Hughes, posted Jun 6th 2008 8:23AM
Harold PerrineauNow I know that none of our readers would do anything like this, but apparently there are people out there who just love to download and watch television via BitTorrent. In fact, 50% of BitTorrent activity is apparently the downloading of television shows, with literally millions of downloads for each episode of those top shows. The folks over at TorrentFreak compiled a list of the Top 10 BitTorrented television shows for the week of May 25 - June 1.

I'm not surprised at all to see shows like The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, Lost and Battlestar Galactica among the top of these rankings. Just think of the kind of audience these types of shows are likely to draw. It's unfortunate that this list couldn't have been compiled a few weeks ago when most of the broadcast networks were still streaming new episodes. So You Think You Can Dance ranked pretty well, but I wonder if American Idol would have been tops here as well. Further into the list were some even more interesting choices.

With a reported 10 million downloads for Lost, I guess it makes sense where those dwinding television viewers are going. The ultimate "On Demand" television you just watch whenever you feel like it, and having it available all in one place, as opposed to at various network websites, is a no-brainer. The sooner TV can properly figure out how to embrace the interwebs that's taking away all their viewers, the sooner television can leap fully into the twenty-first century.

Hulu, which is a combination of several television studios on one site with ad-generated revenue in place is a huge step in the right direction and has quickly risen to become the number one online destination for TV watchers. I think we're getting really close, but during this unfortunate transition period, there are quality shows that attract huge online viewership (younger more hip and savvy viewers I call them) but lack in traditional numbers are still falling to the hangman's noose while network executives figure out how to count those viewers and ring money out of their advertisers for them. I'll count Jericho among these shows, even though it did get a second chance, as it's online numbers were Top 10. Had online viewership been properly attributed the show wouldn't have been in danger of cancellation anyway.

I have faith that the networks will get it figured out. It will just take them a really long time to do it. But if they can come up with a comprehensive destination for television viewing, think Hulu on crack, then "those people" wouldn't have to resort to sites like BitTorrent to catch their latest shows when they want to. They can just head on over to HowJasonHughesSavedTelevision.com and watch everything in one place!

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Hey, I'm in Thailand. How am I supposed to get anything if I don't download!!!!
Thank god for the internet. I can keep up with Lost and Bill Maher and not feel totally isolated.
One thing none of you touched on is censorship. I can tell you firsthand about that. While this country is not one that usually comes up in such discussions, they have their own priorities and values they feel they must uphold. Consequently, no Bill Maher even tho we get HBO on satellite. Guess he's too controversial.
So I gotta do the Demonoid thing.
Lemme tell ya, these TV networks should be kissing the bittorrent sites collective ass for making this stuff available to the world. It is increasing awareness to an extent that the networks couldn't even dream of.

June 11 2008 at 1:34 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

i live on the other side of the world from you guys, so i dont have a choice but to use bittorrent to get my Lost and BSG fix!
however, i am shocked that there are morons in the usa , who have easy access to these shows (yes, getting cable is cheap and easy!) are actually using bittorrent to download them!

no wonder these shows arent #1, when its obvious there are millions downloading and watching. if you have access to these shows other than downloading, you SHOULD watch it live, then download a commercial free one if you like.

this especially applies to nielsen families!

June 06 2008 at 11:34 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

re: bbc/dr who. that touches to another big bummer: international rights. being on the wrong side of the pond when it comes to shows like Reaper or Lost or you have it, I'm not allowed to watch any of those shows even on the legal plattforms - 'cause they don't have the international rights.
maybe they should just sell those rights according to language versions - not territory, as the latter concept becomes increasingly inadequate in this day and age as far as viewing content is concerned.
And yes: advertising would be fine for me (at least for some shows-others I#d prefer ad-free and thus would be prepared to pay for). but alas - even thinking about that crash-lands a host of legal concepts.

June 06 2008 at 10:44 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I don't feel guilty or feel like apologising for using bittorrents one bit. I live in the UK, and am not prepared to wait six months to watch a show to someone else's schedule packed with adverts, plus a further year to buy the DVD when a) I want to be visiting IMDB etc. and talking about the shows with other fans (this newfangled 'global community' etc.) and b) there's absolutely no technical reasons why I can't watch it now. I love House and 24, and when it's seven clicks away (I counted), and 20 minutes of downloading times, nothing's going to tempt me to wait.

And despite the networks distrust in the technology, it's led to me buying extra DVDs. I would NEVER have heard/watched of Arrested Development without bittorrents, yet to date I've bought three copies of the boxsets - one for me, which quickly wore down, another for me, and a lending set as so many people keep asking to borrow it (some of whom have then bought the DVD). Bittorrents did more for that show than Fox's marketing department ever did.

I've said it before, the community torrent sites put any network offering to shame, and if they commercialised bittorrent, I'd happily pay $1 or $2 for a Divx, non-advert episode, which over the course of a season would be the equivalent of a DVD sale, without ANY of the physical costs related to producing a DVD etc.

So I feel no shame in using bittorrents, and I won't be stopped. But again, my wallet's waiting for a legal service.

June 06 2008 at 9:49 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
3 replies to Edd's comment

And I'd like to add that it's not solely "younger" viewers. While younger viewers are probably the vast majority, I know several "fifty-somethings" who might admit to possibly considering entertaining the idea of thinking about watching via torrents.

June 06 2008 at 9:09 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

you forget to mention ad-free nature of buttorrent downloads.

June 06 2008 at 9:04 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I'd be interested to see this list in a week where there's a new episode of Doctor Who, since that's the only way to stay current in the states.

June 06 2008 at 9:02 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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