Heroes tops file sharing list

By Julian Clover

A new study has shed light in the viewing habits of file sharers. Research firm Big Champagne has revealed the NBC sci-fi drama Heroes to be the most popular show with some 55 million people illegally downloading the show; Lost, the second most popular programme, was downloaded by 51 million.

Big Champagne will tell the Edinburgh Television Festival this weekend that the number of visits to the leading torent site has doubled over the last 12 months. The proportion of movies and television show has also risen in comparison with music files.

All the shows in the Top 10 are from the US but the company also looked at the BBC-produced motoring magazine Top Gear, which gained 300,000 downloads in the US immediately after the UK transmission.

The studios have attempted to head off the piracy by closing the window between shows’ US premiere and their screening in overseas markets, the so-called Day&Date. Programmes such as Lost can now be seen in Europe a few days after their original transmission.

But the UK accounted for just 4% of downloads with the vast majority of downloads (46%) taking place in the United States itself.
Top 10 Worldwide TV Torrents

  1. Heroes; 54,562,012
  2. Lost; 51,151,396
  3. 24; 34,119,093
  4. Prison Break; 29,283,591
  5. House; 26,277,954
  6. Fringe; 21,434,755
  7. Desperate Housewives; 21,378,412
  8. Grey’s Anatomy; 19,916,775
  9. Gossip Girl; 19,706,870
  10. Smallville; 19,598,999

Top 10 Worldwide Film Torrents

  1. Watchmen; 16,906,452
  2. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button; 13, 133, 137
  3. Yes Man; 13,038,364
  4. Twilight; 11,632,645
  5. Fast and Furious; 10,613,668
  6. Gran Torino; 9,880,700
  7. Marley and Me; 9,099,219
  8. Slumdog Millionaire; 8,840,884
  9. Bolt; 8,690,633
  10. Australia; 8,628,012