Yikes! With Game of Thrones picking up steam and developing a cult following among a huge share of viewers — including many who don't subscribe to HBO — the pay cable smash has become the year's most-pirated show, according to Forbes

“With its popularity swelling and no easy way to watch for viewers without cable," the magazine reports, "HBO’s hit series Game of Thrones is inspiring massive levels of piracy, according to numbers from the BitTorrent-tracking and analysis firm Big Champagne. By the firm’s rough estimate, the second season of the show has been downloaded more than 25 million times from public torrent trackers since it began in early April, and its piracy hit a new peak following April 30th’s episode, with more than 2.5 million downloads in a day.”

Forbes explains that the show's "young, geeky male demographic" is more inclined to use illegal filesharing sites than other audiences, which helps to explain why the show has been so hugely popular to pirate; and given that the show isn't available immediately after airing through legal outlets like Hulu or the iTunes Store, there's no way to legally watch the show unless you're an HBO subscriber.

Our hope? Maybe this news will lead HBO to develop a new way to allow viewers to access the show without subscribing to HBO, to cut down on piracy and help bring Game of Thrones to an even wider viewership.

Source: Forbes

Credit: HBO Photo: Game of Thrones Promo: Season 2, Episode 7: "A Man Without Honor" (VIDEO)