Aussies Pirate Breaking Bad More Than Anyone Else On Earth

A nation first started as a penal colony is breaking world records for all the wrong reasons again, as Australians top the charts for the most notorious pirates of Breaking Bad on the planet. Aussie, Aussie, Aussie?

According to TorrentFreak, Aussies topped the charts for illegal downloaders pulling the return episode of Breaking Bad, with 16.1 per cent of the world's traffic coming from within Australia. We weren't too far ahead of the pack, however, with the US coming in at 16 per cent of the illegal downloaders, followed by Canada at just over 9 per cent.

Australia's most pirate-happy city for the Breaking Bad return was Melbourne, with one in 20 illegal downloaders living there, while second place was claimed by Sydney, with one in 30 illegal downloaders hailing from the Harbour city.

This isn't the first time Australia has set world records for piracy. Almost every successive return of Game Of Thrones sees Aussies nabbing headlines as the world's most prolific pirates.

The latest piracy figures come after both Game Of Thrones and Breaking Bad have been fast-tracked to Australian screens just hours after release.

Seems Aussies either really love their TV or really hate paying for FOXTEL. Perhaps even both? [TorrentFreak]

Can the piracy epidemic be stopped?


    Put it on F2A TV in less that a 5yr time delay then maybe we wouldn't

    Or better yet, make it available via a digital distribution service at a reasonable.... yes I said REASONABLE... price, then maybe we wouldnt

      Spot on, I'd be happy to pay a dollar or two for the episodes or a little less to stream it but Australia is that far behind with everything it's a joke.

    Kind of an unfair comparison. Foxtel subscriptions are expensive and in the US, all the big shows like BrBa and GoT are on free to air networks (correct me if I'm wrong).

    The only things we get first on free to air are Masterchef and Big Brother *gag*.

    Edit: (Apparently I was mistaken about some things. Still! Foxtel is expensive)

    Last edited 20/08/13 9:30 am

      I don't think GoT is. You have to pay for HBO.

      Breaking Bad is on AMC, a premium cable channel. Game of Thrones is on HBO. Quite a lot of the better class of shows are on HBO or AMC these days.

      The difference is that premium channels like that are a lot more common in America because basic cable is wide spread and there is healthy competition. From what I understand, free to air TV is basically non-existent in America.

      Last edited 19/08/13 2:55 pm

        There are free-to-air channels- most of the sitcoms/cop shows etc are from free-to-air channels (Fox, NBC, ABC, CBS).

        Occasionnally they'll even throw up a unique series like Hannibal or Arrested Development.

        US networks also are more heavily syndicated- Just like channel nine is differently owned in different states (Nine in Adelaide wasn't owned by Nine in Sydney until June this year)

          More relevant is the regular delay in broadcast between the US and Australian air times. Who wants to wait 3-6 months to see the first episode of the new season when we have our mates in the US talking about it, or when it's so readily available online? We pay for subscriptions to these networks, and still get sub-par service because we're not in the country these shows are being filmed. Give us the shows at the same time and people won't pirate as much. It'll still happen, no delusions about that, but nowhere near as much.

      BrBa is on cable in the US. It's on AMC (a movie channel)

      Masterchef and Big Brother are produced in Australia for Australian networks, so the comparison's not really apt.

        And its a movie channel with censorship too!!! Note previous BrBa episodes have had swearing removed/blanked out and nudity blurred

          That's ultimately up to them though- Just because it's "cable" doesn't mean it's a free for all.

          Those movies would have been censored with the permission of the film companies as part of the licensing agreement.

            Thats not how licensing works for broadcasting. If that was the case, then most of the movies shown on FTA over here would be 'blocked' due to these licensing agreements

            Back in the 70s-80's film studios used to create special "MTV" (made for television) versions of movies but that doesnt happen any more (ie check out Rambo as a great example, his speech at the end has the swearing repalced properly with alternative words, not just simply dubbed out)

    I went into JB and asked when the release for "The Legend of Korra" would be in Australia, since it released every where else early July, and I was told about mid to late September.

    Now, I can not only order from Amazon a copy and recieved it within two weeks, but even with postage it might be cheaper.

    So yeah, it's a mystery why Australians are always leeching...

    if FOXTEL wasn't such a rip off it'd certainly help the situation... their pricing is total crap

      My american friends are shocked at our foxtel pricing. What we pay here, they pay a third of there, and for roughly five to ten times the channels...

      I once worked out how much it would cost to watch Game of Thrones on Foxtel.

      Normal subscription for a minimum of 12 months, plus the deluxe package so you actually get GoT....came to about $1400. And that's for something that is 98% full of crap.

      Yeah, I'll take the Pirate Bay and later on the Blu-rays, thanks.

        I have to agree. Unless you love man-on-man action in the form of contact sports, and generally eating dick, Foxtel is mostly rubbish.

          Another one of those gamers that doesn't like sports so refers to it as man-on-man action. You're hilarious mate...

        you sir are foolish.

      Not to mention they used to have good channel bundles for a decent price, now its all over priced and the bundles are awful.

    Thanks for the reminder, I knew there was something I needed to do

    1. People would likely pay for it if streaming it direct were an option.
    2. People like the ease of having something they aren't forced to watch at a certain time. Hence, streaming.
    3. People hate ads in the middle of their show. They'd rather stream it.
    4. People don't want to pay for Foxtel, they wouldn't have to if they could stream it.

    Now, I know Quickflix is an option but I'm not sure many other people are. It's no secret the internet in this country isn't up to snuff and as a result our culture a little late to the party. So while the US has become accustomed to an internet-based entertainment lifestyle, we've been sitting still downloading torrents and it's STILL easier than doing the right thing. People have probably heard this before and we'll likely have a number of people try and pull this apart but... STEAM. We've seen it as an effective piracy measure simply due to the ease of service with a technology that works well with our country. I don't think someone who pirates something should be vilified by someone else on soapbox, it's not stealing in a traditional sense (since stealing infers you're removing something - semantics but it's important) and there's no evidence that these are goods that otherwise would have been purchased or viewed. In fact i'd go as far to say that piracy at this point is actually beneficial to things like DVD and Blu Ray sales.

    I think that when we see a service as easy and reliable and caveat-free as (ironically) a torrent site, then we'll start to see a different. I mean someone has to come up with something easier than a torrent site, right?

    Anyone else on Earth! On the whole Earth? Oh my God.... Anyone else? On the whole of the Earth...
    Wow you guys, wow...

    First GoT now Breaking Bad.. is it any wonder?

    Stop geo-blocking services like Hulu and Netflix (not to mention the other network-specific services) and people will start paying for them. Yes, you can VPN/Proxy around Netflix.. but pretty sure Hulu requires an American/Canadian c/card.. and as for the other ones, you have to have an account with one of the cable companies to validate your membership with them..

      Regarding Netflix: I have a Netflix account. Get a browser extension, either proxmate or mediahint typically depending on the browser. Go to, sign up with a fake US address (mine is literally 123 Fake Street, Beverlly Hills 90210), buy a gift subscription (this allows foreign credit card payments) then gift yourself the subscription. Voila, only $7.99USD/month.

        a) That is a massive hassle and probably little over the heads of the average consumer considering how laughably easy it is to go to the pirate bay and start downloading a torrent (recently got asked to install uTorrent for a couple of 70+ year olds, pointed them to that website and I haven't had them call to ask me for help in the last couple of months) and,
        b) That doesn't help people whose primary means of watching TV are from a smart set-top box/console because setting up netflix to work on something like that in australia is stupidly hard

    Do I count as a pirate by breaching distribution terms and subscribing to Hulu and Netflix?

    God I wish I could get HBO Go too.

    Australia comes in at 16.1%
    - Ridiculous prices for cable TV, and even more to get the good shows like Breaking Bad, GoT etc
    - Delayed air times

    The US comes in at 16%
    - Cable easily obtainable at competitive prices
    - Shows air in the US, so no delay

      Right, and that's funny - but I'm guessing that the figures aren't per capita. Australia has around 22million people, the US has around 315million.

      So if my dodgy maths is right, the average Australian pirates around seven times as much as your average American. That's a fair bit. Or rather: The percentage of Australians who are pirates is seven times greater than the percentage of Americans who pirate.

      Last edited 19/08/13 3:33 pm

        Errmmm. Dodgy maths detected unless I'm reading your figures wrong. 22 million vs 315 million = 1 in 14, rather than 1 in 7.

          That maths seems better. (Edit: And far more severe. I was thinking in percentages - Oz has a population which is only 7% the size of the US population.)

          Last edited 19/08/13 3:58 pm

            Aussies topped the charts for illegal downloaders pulling the return episode of Breaking Bad, with 16.1 per cent of the world’s traffic coming from within Australia.

            It's 16.1 percent of the worlds torrenters, not 16.1 percent of torrenters in Australia.

              Exactly. So per capita we have a higher percentage of pirates than anyone else, due to our relatively small national population. That's the entire point.

              Let's say your group eats 50% of a building-sized cake, and another group eats the other 50% of a building sized cake. If your group is only twenty people and the other group is 315, you've eaten a fuck of a lot more cake than anyone in the other group.

    A nation first started as a penal colony is breaking world records for all the wrong reasons again, as Australians top the charts for the most notorious pirates of Breaking Bad on the planet. Aussie, Aussie, Aussie?

    Only select cities in Australia were destinations for convicts sentenced to transportation. Contrary to the myth, this nation is not a nation of convict descendants.

    I myself was born in South Australia, one of the states that was *not* a destination for transportation.

    Two final things.

    First, the transportation of convicts to Australia was over 200 years ago. That is ancient history and has no reflection on its people of today.

    Second, movie distribution in Australia is hyper inflated and even then when content arrives features are oft removed. So Australia as a market is not treated the same as other countries such as the US.

    Last edited 19/08/13 3:08 pm

      It's kind of a joke - ask anyone in England, the second most miserable place on the planet (except Russia), and they still refer to us as convicts. It's not necessarily the case, but people still consider us as such...

    Doctor Who was great a couple of seasons ago. Yeah it wasn't out live at exactly the same time as in the UK, but ABC put it up on iView within hours of it being shown and it worked great. Then for some reason they didn't do it for the last season.

    This isn't really new though. Ever since pay tv people have been recording shows onto VHS and handing it to their mates. Same thing but obviously on a smaller, and slower, scale. In today's world people move so fast, expect the same from their gadgets and so they're not going to wait around out of moral obligations. A lot of industries including the entertainment industry (video game included) have yet to realise and embrace the internet as a new means of reaching consumers and it's blooming ridiculous that they just complain about piracy and try to shut it down wherever possible instead of actually doing something to reduce the need for piracy.

    I'm sure people would gladly pay $1 or something for each episode of GOT or Breaking Bad if it was put online at the same time it's first aired in the US, but the longer it goes on, the more it'll be ingrained into people's mindsets to just pirate whatever they want

      I think with the latest Doctor Who season ABC still had it on TV on the following night after it aired in the UK which wasn't too shabby.

      Still I did enjoy the previous season when I could get up on a Sunday morning and watch the iview version while having breakfast. It was much more convenient than 'other' methods, apart from the streaming quality.

      At least the 50th anniversary episode will air on TV at the same time as it does in the UK (so 3am-ish here! - I'll be waking up for it)

        Yer, basically the first half of last season(Series 7) was shown over FTA about 6 and half days after it aired in the UK. While the second half was aired about half a day after the UK broadcast.

    Its not going to change, either.

    There's clearly a market for Netflix/hulu/HBO here.

      Exactly. There is a market. Piracy rates show you that there is demand which isn't turning into sales. I wonder what could be blocking that demand. You could stick your head in the sand and say, "Well clearly they're all just tightass criminals! Sue them all!" Or you could try to figure out the REAL obstacles to paying for that demand and, I don't know... fucking remove them.

        Question is, why would they remove them?

        As long as the barriers are there, distributors can claim the usual nonsense like higher distribution costs, etc.

        They are kept there so they can control that is here and then charge a hyper inflated price if and when content is released.

          While moaning about how little of the market they're actually capturing. It's a fair point - hold a small part of the market to ransom, but when demand is something that a lot of products struggle to find, and supply is technically unlimited, others have made a killing by removing barriers - including price reductions. (See: Steam sales.) 'Premium' as a concept doesn't work real great for all industries or products.

    That's 16.1% of the WORLD's internet traffic, we beat the US's 319 Million people to download more copies with our meager 23 Million. It would seem that the vast majority of the US population watched it on cable, and a much smaller percentage (but still 16% of the global internet traffic for that torrent) pirated it.

    Can you blame us? We've (nearly) all grown up with FTA being the norm, and good shows (albeit delayed) have been available on FTA. House, Grey's Anatomy, and a bunch of other shows have been able to air on FTA channels with less than a week's delay in the last five years - Ten and Seven have advertised their broadcasts as "hours after they air in the US" specifically to tackle the issue of low ratings due to piracy. Can you blame the average Aussie for baulking at being asked to pay for immediate access to these shows, when they've been given it for free for as long as they can remember? We had a good thing going, and everything seemed to be just getting better... and now many shows are moving away from FTA... and we're left with the dregs.

    This, combined with iiNet's win against the MPAA a few years ago... the results speak for themselves, really. People don't fear the consequences of piracy in this country, because their enforcement has proven to be relatively ineffective.

    Still, a ~13.6x piracy difference (per capita - using populations from Google search) is a fair bit larger than I'd have expected...

    haha, I really love how we are all discussing what people could do to stop us breaking the law. ehehe. Don't get me wrong, i'm a longtime pirate. Personally. There isn't anything they can do to stop me pirating it. Foxtel is a rip off, My PC monitor is bigger then my TV screen and.. i just don't watch TV anymore.

      I'd consider paying for tv content if there was a service that was as convenient and streamlined as something like Steam is for games. I buy more games than I pirate now, and that was definitely not the case before Steam was around.

      When they make purchasing MORE convenient than pirating, then I'll pay.

    Alright, I admit it, I torrented last weeks episode. And this weeks.
    But I promise, hand to heart, I will stop torrenting Breaking Bad.

    After the 30th of September.

      To "justify" the piracy, this is the last season of Breaking Bad. This is where all the story lines from 5 years and 54 episodes all come to a head. Assuming you've been watching from the start, that is a huge investment. Every second from when it airs to when Australia is able to legally view it is a chance to stumble across spoilers. Which I guess isn't a problem if you have a job or something. Man, I bet employment is nice.

      But yes, like a lot of people I know, I don't watch TV anymore. I certainly couldn't justify (or afford) $70+ a month to watch these last 360 minutes of Breaking Bad.

        I saw the new episode on iTunes Australia the day after it aired, but afaik those are DRM'd to Apple only devices so it's a little pointless for people if they don't have an Apple TV and they wish to watch it on their TV or something that supports Air Play.

      Likewise, I will also stop pirating Burn Notice after September 12th & Dexter after September 22nd.

    "Have been fast-tracked to Australian screens just hours after release."

    Not all Australian's screens. I'm not paying for TV as a service, not unless it's on demand. QuickFlix would be fine if they didn't slog you for a DVD rental (which you can't opt out of, and I won't use), have no real catalog, and didn't slap you twice for their streaming e.g. Game of Throne up to the latest season will cost you an extra $30 on top of your subscription. How is that even remotely fair? I'll gladly buy the DVD but that is still delayed by months. I think the real issues isn't that it's not screen at the same time as America, it's that it's not available for purchase on media at the same time as America. I don't know ANYONE that watches Game of Thrones on TV. They are all more interested on buying it on DVD, in the mean time they stream it or pirate it...

      My mother-in-law watches it on Foxtel. Had to be careful not to spoil the weeks ep for her.

    This is my gripe with Australia regarding these kind of issues. If you want to reduce the amount this kind of behaviour occurs, you have to:

    1: Consider more seriously, video games getting classification under the R18+ rating, or people here will simply import/download them legally OR illegally.

    2: If you want people to watch these shows through paid/subscription based television through legal methods, then air it at a time reasonably close to the original airing time in the US. Or people here will go about using their own methods to see it on time. Or at least put the shows on FTA TV.

    Victimization seems to be causing victimization..........

    It's not a justification but I generally buy the Blu Ray of TV shows I really like, you know, when they're finally released.

      Which is usually like, a month before the next season starts... :\

      Good luck having someone tell you something, and not fuck the show up for you by then. :/

      Last edited 19/08/13 11:39 pm

    As far as I'm concerned there is no excuse for pirating shows like Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones et al. They are now shown within hours of their US broadcast here on Foxtel and they are not broadcast on free to air in America either.

    If you can't afford Foxtel than fucking wait for it or get a better paying job. AMC and HBO subscriptions alone are more expensive than what it would cost to get Foxtel but no one takes that into account. Foxtel represents great value for the shows it grabs across multiple premium US cable networks.

    No I'm not a shill for Foxtel I just believe in paying for what I consume...

    Its a pirates life for me

    An interesting aside - SBS2 airs "Talking Bad", a half hour show which airs after new episodes in the States. It features interviews and discussions about that week's episode.
    Clearly SBS have seen an audience for the show, and that audience is comprised 90% (admittedly bullshit statistic, don't dissect it) of pirates.
    I'm watching the percentage counter in uTorrent tick upwards as I type for this week's episode, by the way, and it simply cannot fucking tick those bytes away quickly enough.

    Its typical of this generation. Wanting something right away, and not wanting to pay for it.
    They think they are entitled to EVERYTHING at their demand.

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