‘Game of Thrones’ leaked episode earns show’s highest ratings

A scene from HBO's "Game of Thrones".

LOS ANGELES - An online leak seems to have helped more than harmed the HBO hit series “Game of Thrones”, when its seventh season’s fourth episode was illegally released three days ahead of schedule.

The episode “The Spoils of War” had 10.2 million viewers glued to their screens on Monday, even higher than the record-breaking first episode “Dragonstone” which garnered 10.1 million viewers, reports Mashable.

The count doesn’t include views through other platforms such as streaming, DVR and VOD (video on demand).

HBO is currently embroiled in a hacking controversy, with hackers demanding payment through bitcoin. The leaked episode was traced to distribution partner Star India through its own website.

“We take this breach very seriously and have immediately initiated forensic investigations at our and the technology partner’s end to swiftly determine the cause. This is a grave issue and we are taking appropriate legal remedial action,” said a Star India spokesperson in a statement.

While the network fends off a major security breach - hackers claim to have 1.5 terabytes of information that include published scripts and personal data - the show’s quality has at least proved to be worth a legal viewing. - Agencies