The Grand Tour unseats Game of Thrones as the most pirated TV show ever

Shawn Knight

Posts: 12,999   +130
Staff member

And just like that, Game of Thrones’ long reign as the most pirated TV show appears to be over as early data from industry analyst Muso suggests Amazon’s new motoring show is the new number one.

According to the firm, the first episode of The Grand Tour was downloaded 7.9 million times with the second and third episodes having been downloaded 6.4 million times and 4.6 million times, respectively (the downward-trending numbers are a shame considering the show has actually gotten much better each week but I digress).

An Amazon spokesperson told The Guardian that The Grand Tour has become the biggest show premiere ever on Amazon Prime Video, breaking records around the world. Specific view counts, however, weren’t supplied.

Muso Chief Commercial Officer Chris Elkins said the show is off the scale in terms of volume and thus has become the most illegally downloaded program ever.

For those out of the loop, The Grand Tour is an Amazon exclusive “motoring show” (equal parts informative and funny) from the former presenters of Top Gear, the popular BBC program once recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as the most watched factual TV show in the world.

A dispute between one of the presenters and a producer resulted in all three presenters – Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May – parting ways with the BBC. They ultimately signed a deal with Amazon for a minimum of three seasons of a show that eventually became known as The Grand Tour. It’s all but identical to their former gig albeit with a few minor changes.

Unsurprisingly, a large portion of the illegal downloads – 13.7 percent – originated from Britain (Top Gear originated in the UK).

The fact that it’s currently an Amazon exclusive unfortunately means The Grand Tour simply isn’t available to as large of an audience as the BBC has access to. This is likely driving up piracy as the show was initially only available to viewers in the US, UK, Germany, Austria and Japan. Fortunately, Amazon has plans to bring it to roughly 200 countries this month.

It’s unclear if Amazon is bringing its full Prime package to these additional countries or just the series. As it stands today, you must be a Prime subscriber to get legal access to The Grand Tour.

With Amazon reportedly shelling out anywhere from $5.5 million to $7 million per episode, creating legal avenues for viewers to watch should be a top priority. After all, as streaming music and video services have successfully demonstrated, consumers are willing to pay for content so long as it’s affordable and easy to use with flexible viewing options.

The BBC elected to continue to produce Top Gear, replacing the ousted trio with Chris Evans and Matt LeBlanc (Joey from Friends) for season 23. Viewership reportedly plummeted and shortly after the final episode of the season aired, Evans announced he would not be returning.

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Adhmuz

Posts: 2,103   +906
Can anyone really be surprised by this? I have access to Amazon Prime but because I want to have a copy I can watch anywhere anytime I rather just download it for my own personal collection. And for those who are geographically block I can't really blame them anyways, Top Gear was a globally recognized show, after the latest season with Douche-bag Evans people wanted, needed, the old cast again. The Grand Tour just about picks up where they left off, the first couple episodes had a slow start, nor am I a fan of all the changes, but it would never be the same format with the BBC owning the rights to just about everything. Episode three was pretty good, and I have episode 4 ready to stream via Plex later this evening, which is another reason I rather just download the episodes, this latest episode looks pretty promising.
 

Thorney

Posts: 72   +26
You can download most Amazon Prime shows for offline use on mobile devices. People always find an excuse. I know people who wont use Amazon Prime due to them not approving of their tax avoidance etc yet they still pirate their shows. £79 a year and you get free deliveries, a tv and movie on demand service and a music store and cloud and people are still to cheap to pay for it. But yeh fair enough if you are region blocked that business needs to end.
 

Per Hansson

Posts: 1,973   +231
Staff member
(the downward-trending numbers are a shame considering the show has actually gotten much better each week but I digress).
Well it could be seen as a sign that viewers decided the show was good after having a look at it and decided to buy it?
Sadly as I'm in Sweden I don't have the luxury to do so (yet) :(
 

Mr Dude

Posts: 64   +47
I'm in a similar position, where I WANT to give Amazon my money, but they'll have none of that. Something to do with my personal geographic location. Go figure. So, I may or may not have to resort to other means to access their content.
 
My son and I really enjoyed watching Top Gear. "Hey," I would call out, "three funny guys driving cars!" He doesn't even have a license, but he would emerge out of his cave for this. So we sit down, father and son, to watch the first episode of Grand Tour. Sweet! About 10 minutes into it, out came the four letter words, unbleeped, uncensored, no apologies. I pressed the stop button. I wonder how many Amazon subscribers (or even, ahem, non-subscribers) had the same reaction? So off he goes, back to his cave, to watch Youtube and Twitch. My wife puts on Master Top Iron Chef or some such, and I go to mine. However, we did try the first episode of the White Rabbit Project. There's bleeping, but it could be worse. Father and son time again.
 

lipe123

Posts: 972   +560
I have Amazon prime and I can't even watch the damn show because I live in Canada.

If its their own content and their own license deals why the hell is it so hard to release it world wide?
 

IAMTHESTIG

Posts: 1,868   +900
Most people don't want to spend $100 on an Amazon subscription. You have to buy some 25 or so items that wouldn't normally qualify for free shipping to make it worth the cost assuming you don't take advantage of their other services. I don't really watch video on Amazon (except The Grand Tour) and honestly their video offerings aren't that great, and anything you do want to watch they charge extra for. That is extremely aggravating so I don't even bother anymore. Amazon needs to offer some other packages to get people interested. Maybe just a video package online at $40 a year, or $3.50 a month.

That being said I think a lot of people like to download TV shows and movies from torrents because they can keep a copy. It is quickly accessible and accessible offline at any time. It is just a convenience thing... and just because a show is being "'pirated" doesn't mean that person doesn't also own a copy on disc, electronic, or watched it on a subscription service such as Netflix.

As for the show... that surprises me because I thought S1E2 was crap IMO. S1E1 and S1E3 were ok. S1E4 has been the best so far I think. My opinion though... it seems to be improving though.
 
D

davislane1

My son and I really enjoyed watching Top Gear. "Hey," I would call out, "three funny guys driving cars!" He doesn't even have a license, but he would emerge out of his cave for this. So we sit down, father and son, to watch the first episode of Grand Tour. Sweet! About 10 minutes into it, out came the four letter words, unbleeped, uncensored, no apologies. I pressed the stop button. I wonder how many Amazon subscribers (or even, ahem, non-subscribers) had the same reaction?

"I didn't think it was possible to **** yourself to death" ruined an entire show for you?

I'm going to ballpark this somewhere around, "not many people cared."