Game of Thrones may have been snubbed in the Golden Globes nominations this year, but it does hold one (dubious) honor: that of being the most pirated television show in 2013.

According to TorrentFreak, an average of 5.9 million fans per episode downloaded the show through illegal torrent sites to get their fix of the third season. That’s up from 4.28 million per episode in the previous year.

However, it’s not great news for HBO — this year there were more people who pirated the series than there were HBO subscribers tuning in. The series brought in an average of 5.4 million viewers through legitimate channels this past season.

Given that TorrentFreak’s statistics don’t account for online streaming hacks and “cyberlocker” downloads — which would make the figure significantly higher — it’s clear that GoT is hugely a popular show with a large fan base. However, we’re fairly sure HBO would rather those fans were also subscribers.

One person who isn’t bothered by all the piracy is David Petrarca, one of the show’s directors. He says that, while he doesn’t condone piracy, if people are downloading a show illegally, it adds to its “cultural buzz,” which is essential for a “taste-making show” like GoT to survive.

In fact the list of the most pirated shows appears to be made up of primarily of just those kinds of shows. The top 10 list is as follows:

1. Game of Thrones (5.9 million)

2. Breaking Bad (4.2 million)

3. "The Walking Dead (3.6 million)

4. The Big Bang Theory (3.4 million)

5. Dexter (3.1 million)

6. How I Met Your Mother (3.0 million)

7. Suits (2.6 million)

8. Homeland (2.4 million)

9. Vikings (2.3 million)

10. Arrow (2.2 million)

What do you think — is piracy good for the show or bad for business?

Source: TorrentFreak, Zap2It