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"Game of Thrones" season finale sets online piracy record

Peter Dinklage as Tyrion Lannister in a scene from the fourth season of "Game of Thrones."

HBO

The season 4 finale of "Game of Thrones" drew in record viewers -- through both official and not-so-official channels.

According to Nielsen, 7.1 million viewers (legally) tuned in for "The Children," making it the most-watched finale ever for "Thrones." But the episode also set a new online piracy record, according to data from the website TorrentFreak.

A few hours after the episode appeared online, the Demonii tracker reported that 254,114 people were sharing one single torrent at the same time -- the highest ever.

The previous record, by the way, was also held by "Game of Thrones," with a little more than 200,000 people sharing a single file.

During the first 12 hours, roughly 1.5 million people shared a pirated copy of the show, TorrentFreak reports. And those illegal downloaders were apparently interested in HD versions -- the most popular 720p copy was shared by 108,539 BitTorrent users simultaneously, and the most shared 1080p release had 23,922 people connected to it.