Piracy of ‘Breaking Bad,’ other Emmy favorites surges after awards

Piracy on the rise for “Breaking Bad”? Better call Saul.

Piracy rates for the AMC drama surged after the 2014 Emmy Awards, according to anti-piracy firm CEG Tek.

The show, which won big at the Emmys last week, saw a 412% increase in illegal peer-to-peer file-sharing the day after the awards broadcast, the company said.

Though the “Breaking Bad” finale aired last fall and all the seasons are available on Netflix, illegal shares for the show saw a dramatic increase from an average of 27,500 per day before the Emmys to 141,000 the day after the awards.


In the U.S., the AMC show jumped from the 15th-most-pirated television show to second, trailing only HBO’s “Game of Thrones.” It also moved from the sixth- to the second-most-pirated show worldwide.

Other Emmy favorites -- “True Detective,” “House of Cards,” “Homeland” and “The Newsroom” -- saw illegal peer-to-peer downloads increase roughly 340% within a day of the awards broadcast, according to CEG Tek.

Despite the lack of Emmy wins for “Game of Thrones,” about 296,734 daily users pirated the fantasy drama series last week, a 36% increase from the week before the Emmys, the firm said.

Jon Nicolini, chief technology officer at CEG Tek, said the piracy surge for the TV shows “reinforces the prestige of the awards themselves.”

“People equate quality with how much a show is pirated and they also equate quality with how many awards a show receives,” he told The Times. “In this case, when you put the two together, obviously, it’s explosive.”

The firm used a proprietary detection software to track the top-50 series, their daily rates of piracy domestically and abroad and the change in rank before and after the Emmys. It used similar software to track pirating activity for movies following the Oscars.

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