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The first episode of HBO hit series Game of Thrones was pirated 54,261,910 times within the first 24 hours of its premiere, Concise News understands.

This assertion was made by the global authority on digital piracy, MUSO, where it said the Game of Thrones first episode was streamed illegally 54 million times.

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According to the data, 17.4 million watched the episode legally according to HBO official figures.

MUSO’s data revealed that China, India, US, UK and Nigeria were the nations which streamed the Game of Thrones first episode illegally the most.

“Perhaps unsurprisingly, the relentless, global demand for access to HBO’s Game of Thrones, through both legitimate and illegitimate channels, is still absolutely staggering,” co-founder of MUSO, Andy Chatterley, said.

“Season 8 has been long-anticipated by fans around the world, leading to what can only be described as piracy mania as dedicated fans look for streams and torrents, whether that be a result of the content not being available in their region, wanting to get in on the action early through fear of missing out, or to avoid seeing spoilers on social media.

“The episode also leaked hours in advance of the premiere, causing a frenzy on torrent and streaming sites across the world.

“Regardless of rationale, the piracy figures for just the first 24 hours since the episode aired demonstrate that these audiences cannot – and should not – be ignored.

“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.

“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.”