More than a million people have illegally downloaded the first two episodes of Fox’s “Prison Break” on BitTorrent sites since they first aired on Monday night, according to Torrentfreak.
This, even though both episodes were made available for free soon after their TV premiere on both Hulu and Fox.com.
Wired checked to find out how that compares with Hulu, which declined to say how many viewers they’d had for both shows since Monday. The two episodes were listed No. 3 and No. 6 on Wednesday’s “most popular” TV episodes.
Why steal a TV show when it is widely available for free? Wired makes the case that P2P sites are habit for a lot of users. Moreover, they’d rather watch without the ads. Add to that at least one more strong reason: Hulu isn’t available outside the U.S., making P2P the only option for foreign users. That, and once downloaded, the shows can be watched on computers without an Internet connection.
While Fox isn’t getting any ad revenue from P2P, they should take some solace from the fact that 1 million cared enough to illegally download the show. A mere 6.5 million watched the show on Fox Monday night, according to Nielsen — nearly a million fewer than the 7.4 million who watched the premiere of the show last year.
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