Here’s how often the second season of Netflix’s “Narcos” was pirated online

The show must go on.
The show must go on.
Image: Reuters/Steve Marcus
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A lot of people watched the second season of the hit Netflix series Narcos without paying for it. The entire series or parts of it were streamed, downloaded or torrented 6.4 million times on sites other than Netflix in the first five days of its release, according to anti-piracy tech vendor Muso.

Here’s how that 6.4 million figure breaks down. The series, a fictionalized version of the exploits of Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar, was downloaded in its entirety 1.1 million times. The rest comes from downloads of individual episodes. The first episode was downloaded more than 700,000 times.

A fuller examination of the data suggests a good portion of Narcos viewers didn’t quite get hooked. Its final episode was downloaded 45% fewer times than its first episode, which might be explained by people losing interest in the series, Muso said. Here’s the full breakdown by episode:

For context, 3.2 million people watched Narcos legally on Netflix between September and December last year, according to data from ratings firm Symphony. The series premiered on Aug. 28 last year, so that data would not have captured the crucial first weekend of binge-watching.

While Narcos is doing pretty well among viewers who won’t—or can’t—pay for a Netflix subscription, it’s still some way off from challenging the most-pirated show on earth: HBO’s Game of Thrones. Over a million people had pirated the show on the BitTorrent file-sharing network within 12 hours of its sixth season premier on April 24 this year, according to data from TorrentFreak. And that’s just BitTorrent, not other streaming or download methods.

Even with the piracy, Netflix has judged that Narcos is worth it. The online-video giant announced on Sept. 6 that it was renewing the series for two more seasons. As the title card on a trailer announcing the renewal reads, “The blow must go on.”