Australia tops Breaking Bad illegal downloads

2013-10-01_1304Yesterday it was all about Breaking Bad, with news stories and social media rabid for the final episode.

The show pulled a show record of 10.3 million US viewers, way up from last week’s 6.6 million viewers and the fourth record audience brought in during the final eight episodes.

But it also scored a record in the number of illegal downloads for an AMC series, with more than half a million downloads in the first 12 hours.

Australia has topped the list of illegal downloads according to one torrent site, comprising 18% of the torrenting (and Melbourne topped the local list), followed by the US (14.5%) and UK (9.3%). That’s despite Foxtel airing the series just hours after its US premiere.

The Hollywood Reporter has linked to TV Tonight‘s story on Breaking Bad returning to ABC2 as part of the reason why Aussie downloads are so high -but incorrectly suggested it is the start of the final block of episodes (it’s actually Part 1 of the 2 blocks), and overlooked the Foxtel fast-tracked finale.

The largest share of downloads came from Australia. With 18 percent of the total, the country Down Under outpaced the United States, United Kingdom and Canada. According to one Australian TV blog, Breaking Bad is just about to air the second part of its final season next week on ABC2. Some fans might not have been able to wait.


  1. Armchair Analyst, I think you’re on to a great business idea there. Maybe iTunes, Spotify & Quickflix will be willing to work with you on developing the business model they’ve been operating under for years!

  2. Armchair Analyst

    @ David Knox. i appreciate you standing up for my comment really appreciate it. Stan’s comments were quite ignorant and completely onesided. This is a complex issue. it could be resolved with the US entertainment companies making these shows available online even if they the people have to pay for it sort of a subscription fee, it would be morereasonable or at least should be then foxtel, which rips people off. There will be a logical and fair argument in favor of downloading for free as long as the Hollywood studios and tv networks refuse to cater to a international market by making there conent available to international viewers without them being ripped off. No one is a saint not even stan.

  3. Armchair Analyst, I don’t care if you *sometimes* consume your media legally, you should do it all the time. The fact is you’re condoning others who steal other people’s content, & that makes you no better in my books. There’s no excuse for online theft (like any other type of theft), it’s just pure greed & self-entitlement that leads many to do this. It really is just that simple. Any other “reasoning” for this illegal behaviour are really just excuses.

    As for your anti-American comment, I didn’t know that sloppy journalism was exclusive to the US.

    • Stan: He has not said he “sometimes” consumes media legally so I think you’re presuming way too much. “Whenever I can I buy legally” does not necessarily mean “I otherwise download.” It can also mean “I otherwise go without / I wait until it airs free.” Hence why it was approved. For someone who acknowledges paying for content legally it’s a pretty big slap. Don’t win the battle but lose the war….

  4. Armchair Analyst

    @Stan. I am not against paying for the right to watch US content, i will give you the benefit of doubt because you dont know me and dont know what i have bought over the years. I have bought CD’s, DVD,s subscribed to the internet, i am a member of 3 music stores none of them are i tunes, and when ever i can i buy legally. So if you wereimplying that i dont like paying for my content that is completely wrong. I was commenting on the fact why people illegally download its not as simple as not wanting to pay as the article above mentions even people in US illegally download and most of the US has cable of some kind (pay tv). If i am against anything its US media companies not making it available at a decent and affordable price over the net, they seem to want to cash in on globalisation when itsuits them but then want to ignore it. Its not peoples fault that commerical networks thought it…

  5. I had to laugh at the VO over the credits for Louie last night saying, “if you’ve resisted the temptation to download it yet, the final season of Breaking Bad starts next Monday at 9:20 on ABC2.” Sounds like even they’ve given up.

    That said, the kind of hostile attitude (I want to use other words, but I’ll get censored here) that Armchair Analyst has towards paying for Intellectual Copyright is very sad. It’s also anti-American. The irony, of course, coming from someone who most likely watches a lot of American TV like BB.

  6. Only 25% of households have Foxtel, and only some of them have the Movie/Premium Drama package. So for most of the country it doesn’t matter when Foxtel shows it.

    They either stump up the grand for Foxtel each year, or download shows for free.

    Foxtel’s “express from US” is a long-term strategy and about reducing churn from reducing people dropping of the package.

  7. Armchair Analyst

    Well it is a double edged sword isnt it. This show has been successful and the Hollywood Reporter does not mention or are too lazy to mention that only about 20 to 30 % of people have pay tv here and the FTA networks at large were not interested in it when the rights came up for grabs here. Typical americans always asuming certain things without doing any research first. The reason illegal downloading is prevelant is because we have become used to watching things as soon as it airs in the US because of the whole water cooler effect.

  8. Conundrum – if a show is available to watch on FTA TV (as Breaking Bad is on ABC2), is it illegal to download it before it’s due to air? You’re not robbing artists of potential income…

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