'Game of Thrones' is the most pirated show of 2015

Extras acting in the series of 'Game of Thrones'

For the fourth year in a row the HBO series based on George R.R. Martin's epic "A Song of Ice and Fire" fantasy novel series is the most torrented program, clocking up some 14,400,000 illegal downloads.

The annual illegal download data crunching courtesy of Torrent Freak is based purely on use of BitTorrent sites. This means that it excludes those shows that can be accessed via video hosting sites, legal or otherwise, simply because there is no way of tracking their use. It also means that although the numbers reported are huge, they could be significantly greater, still.

Even without this extra data, there is little doubt of the top spot. With 14.4 million downloads, "Game of Thrones" is more than twice as popular as the show in second place. "The Walking Dead," America's most popular TV drama, could only manage to muster 6.9 million illegal downloads.

In third place, with 4.4 million illegal downloads for a single episode is that evergreen comedy series, "The Big Bang Theory" while two DC superhero shows, "Arrow" (3.9 million) and "The Flash" (3.6 million), complete this year's top five.

In sixth place in the 2015 chart is critical hit "Mr. Robot" (3.5 million downloads) and "The Vikings" takes seventh place with 3.3 million downloads.

Perhaps surprisingly, given the all-conquering nature of all things in the Marvel Superhero universe at the moment, from "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D" to "Agent Carter" and "Jessica Jones," there are no Marvel properties in the top 10.

However, another DC property, "Supergirl" has made it into this year's top 10, in eighth place with 3 million torrented views, making it more popular among pirates, at least, than "The Blacklist" (9th place, 2.9 million views) and "Suits" (10th place, 2.6 million). All of which could bode well for the upcoming "Dawn of Justice" Batman versus Superman epic coming to cinemas in 2016.

TorrentFreak's chart is based on views for a single episode rather than cumulative downloads for a show over the course of the past 12 months.