Plenty of people tuned into AMC last night to watch the finale of Breaking Bad (Spoiler Alert: Jesse and Walter have been living under a transparent dome the whole time!). And hundreds of thousands more around the globe chose to get their hands on the episode via less-than-legitimate methods, even in countries where it is incredibly easy to get the show on the cheap.
According to TorrentFreak, within the first 12 hours of the show airing on the East Coast, more than 500,000 people had BitTorrented the episode, which means it’s likely to become one of the most shared episodes of any TV show this year.
What’s interesting is that, in spite of the millions of homes that have access to AMC, and the millions more who could legally rent the episode for only a few bucks from services likes Amazon and iTunes, folks are still turning to BitTorrent to get it for free.
Giving credence to recent comments by News Corp CEO Robert Thomson that “Australians have very bad habits – piracy happens to be one of them,” TorrentFreak found that Australia accounted for 18% of the early downloads, three and a half percentage points higher than the U.S. and nearly double that of the UK. Likewise, five of the 10 cities with the most Breaking Bad finale downloads are in Australia, including Melbourne, which accounted for 5.4% of all downloads during the first 12 hours.
Much like Game of Thrones — still the reigning most-pirated show — Australians could simply get the show by paying for a subscription to premium cable channel FoxTel. As Thomson, whose company is a co-owner in FoxTel pointed out last week about Game of Thrones, even some people who pay for FoxTel subscriptions are still BitTorrenting it just to get it before it airs locally.
“One of the explanations for this defiant behavior is that these downloaders simply prefer to torrent the show out of habit,” writes TorrentFreak. “In other cases people may find a pay TV subscription too expensive, or they simply prefer to watch the show at their own leisure instead of following rigid TV-schedules.”
Now if they would only give Dean Norris that Mineral Man spin-off he so rightly deserves…