TorrentFreak reports that piracy rates of the television show Under the Dome shot up by more than a third
last weekend, even though official ratings dropped. What caused the increase? On Friday, three million subscribers to Time Warner's cable TV service lost access to CBS programming, the network on which Under the Dome
airs. The article says this provides compelling evidence that the availability of a show is a key factor in the decision to pirate it.
"To find out whether download rates in the affected markets increased, we monitored U.S. BitTorrent downloads of last week's episode as well as the one that aired this Monday following the blackout. The data from these two samples show that in Los Angeles, New York City, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Detroit and Pittsburgh, relatively more people downloaded the latest episode, an indication that customers are turning to unauthorized channels to get the show. With hundreds of thousands of downloads Under The Dome is one of the most pirated TV-shows at the moment. Of all sampled downloaders in the U.S. 10.9% came from the blackout regions for last week's episode, and this increased to 14.6% for Monday's episode, a 34% increase. In New York City, one of the largest affected markets, the relative piracy rate more than doubled from 1.3% of all U.S. downloads last week to 3% for the episode that aired after the blackout."