A video Napster may not exist but a survey tracking piracy rates of 175 hit shows on cable, broadcast and OTT networks in the US and elsewhere has revealed that file-sharing is alive and well.
In its latest report, business intelligence specialist CEG TEK International (CEG TEK) found that in excess of 3.7 million unique peers (users) worldwide illegally shared those TV shows daily using the BitTorrent peer-to-peer (P2P) file-sharing network.
"Some network executives have responded to the fact that their shows are being pirated with a lack of real concern, but if they look at the potential revenue they could have made, they might think again," said Kyle Reed, co-founder and COO, CEG TEK.
"Even in a conservative estimate, say 10% of the 3.7 million illegal P2P shares that we tracked, if those shows were purchased at a flat rate of $2.99 per download, we looking at over $11 million in potential revenue lost daily."
Among cable networks, HBO saw the most piracy, with 381,952 users worldwide and 38,330 users in the US illegally sharing HBO content daily. HBO's Boardwalk Empire led the way on that network, followed by Entourage, Game of Thrones, Rome, Silicon Valley, The Newsroom, True Blood and True Detective.
AMC followed HBO with 301,601 worldwide daily and 29,773 in the US sharing Breaking Bad, Mad Men and The Walking Dead. And FX came in third with 138,084 worldwide and 23,516 in the US, with top pirated shows being American Horror Story, Anger Management, Archer and It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia.
Other networks with significant piracy rates include Showtime, History Channel, Comedy Central, Starz, A&E, USA and BBC America.
When it comes to broadcast CBS led with 619,157 P2P users illegally sharing shows like The Big Bang Theory and How I Met Your Mother daily. ABC was next at 573,016 worldwide, followed by CW (373,750), FOX (360,041) and NBC (256,191).
Over-the-top (OTT) networks are also included in the report, with original content such as Netflix's House of Cards and Orange is the New Black seeing the most illegal activity. Overall, Netflix saw an average of 87,790 users accessing their content illegally on a daily basis worldwide.