CBS blackout means TV piracy


CBSThe percentage of unauthorized downloads in the markets affected by Time Warner Cable’s CBS blackout has spiked dramatically this week, according to TorrentFreak, which reports on Internet file-sharing. The site reports that piracy rates for the summer event series Under the Dome rose 34% over the weekend, while official ratings dropped.

To measure the effects, TorrentFreak monitored U.S. BitTorrent downloads of the previous week’s episode as well as the one that aired this Monday, after the blackout. The data shows that in Los Angeles, New York City, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Detroit and Pittsburgh, relatively more people downloaded the latest episode, reported WorldScreen.

In New York City, one of the largest areas affected by the blackout, the relative piracy rate more than doubled, from 1.3% of all U.S. downloads last week to 3% for the episode that aired after the channel was dropped.

Worldwide, the latest episode of Under the Dome was downloaded slightly more than previous episodes. This means that the relative increase in piracy rates also resulted in more downloads.

“While one should always be careful of drawing strong conclusions from city-based data, especially when we don’t know how many downloaders are Time Warner Cable subscribers, these initial results do suggest that the blackout resulted in a local piracy surge,” said TorrentFreak.