A survey carried out by research company Big Champagne found out that popular scifi series Heroes is the most downloaded one on illegal P2P and filesharing websites.
Big Champagne's database reveals that Heroes episodes were downloaded 55 million times compared to more than 51 million for the other drama programme, Lost. 24 attracted 34 million downloads.
Eric Garland, chief executive of Big Champagne, told the BBC that "Millions of television viewers now access free, unauthorised versions of favourite shows at least some of the time, This is a socially acceptable form of casual piracy - and it is replacing viewing hours.".
All the programmes in the Top 10 were from America with the US of A accounting for nearly 50 percent of illegal downloading activities, while only four percent of global illegal downloading took place in the UK. The company tracked well over 300 million seeds/peers during the research.
BBC motor show Top Gear was singled out as one of the most popular non US TV show, with around 300,000 downloads for each episode, with more than half coming from the US alone.
The company's main product is BC Dash, a software platform for "integrating, analyzing, and reporting information about the sale, broadcast and consumption of popular entertainment media", in other words, a P2P sleuth company.
Skimming through the articles around this news makes for some interesting reading. Visits to torrents have apparently doubled in the last year or so and BC's report will only give more ammunition to labels and the film industry to push for a global crackdown on illegal downloading.