UK Leads Illegal TV Downloads Market

More and more Brits are turning to the web to download their favourite TV shows, research has revealed. A report found the country was at the head of a "worldwide explosion in internet TV piracy". Nearly a fifth of all downloads come from the UK, compared with 7% from America.

Researchers from internet tracking firm Envisional found the Fox drama, 24, was the most popular download. Other popular shows have included Desperate Housewives, The OC and The Simpsons.

Envisional chief operating officer Ben Coppin said: "The internet is revolutionising how people watch, obtain, and view television programmes. It's now as easy to download a pirate TV show as it is to programme a VCR. Indeed, it is as easy to download a television programme though a website as it is to schedule your VCR to tape the episode."

Mr Coppin urged broadcasters to counteract the threat from online piracy by launching a their own visual download services: "If TV companies were to offer episodes for download at a small cost at the same time as they air offline they could generate revenue in the same way that Apple's iTunes does."

View: Envisional

View: MediaGuardian.co.uk coverage

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