The Walking Dead breaks viewing records once again as Season Five begins

According to the TV viewing figures tracking company Nielsen, the Season Five opening episode of the US drama The Walking Dead has once again broken viewing records, attracting the biggest cable audience for a non-sports programme in the US.

The opening episode for Season Five was watched by 17.3m people, beating the record already set by its fourth season debut, which was watched by 16.1 million people when broadcast last year.

The Walking Dead also won out in terms of demographics, with 11 million viewers coming from the 18-49 age range, the closest to that number being The Big Bang Theory, which attracted 6.9 million people from that group.

However Variety has reported that the US show has also reached record levels of people obtaining the show illicitly, with Excipio, a piracy tracking firm logging 1.27 million downloads in the first 24 hours after transmission.

Although a big number, it is still only second to TV series Game of Thrones when it comes to the level of piracy, with that show’s fourth series premiere being downloaded illicitly 1.86 million times.

It was added that Fox had rushed the show to 125 markets around the world in order to combat privacy.

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