Talking during an appearance at the Perth Writers Festival last weekend, Petrarca reportedly told his audience that he believed that illegal downloading didn’t matter because of the “cultural buzz” and commentary generated by those watching. He went on to say that HBO’s sizable subscriber base — 26 million in the U.S. alone, and 60 million worldwide — meant that the channel was able to afford to create high-quality programming despite those downloading and watching the show illegally.
According to TorrentFreak, a single episode of the show saw around 4,280,000 downloads last year — roughly the same number of people who watch the show on HBO in the U.S. — with more than 80 percent of the downloads occurring outside of the United States. Australia is said to be responsible for 10 percent of each episode’s downloads, a statistic that led to Petrarca’s comment in Perth.
More at Wired.com