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Heroes the most popular illegal TV download

NBC’s action drama series Heroes is the most popular show among illegal file-sharers, ahead of Disney’s Lost and Fox’s 24, according to new research.

Data from US-based analysts Big Champagne revealed the top ten illegal downloads for 2009 so far. It also indicated that TV shows are more popular illegal downloads than movies.

The roster was made up entirely of drama series that are on US network TV and are distributed by the US studios.

Heroes topped the list and has been illegally downloaded 54.6 million times, ahead of Lost, which has been downloaded 51.1 million times. At the other end of the top ten Warner Bros-distributed drama Smallville was downloaded 19.6 million times.

To put the numbers into context, the most popular film download was Watchmen, which was illegally accessed 16.9 million times.

The full top ten of illegal TV downloads in 2009 is: Heroes, Lost, 24, Prison Break, House, Fringe, Desperate Housewives, Grey’s Anatomy, Gosspi Girl and Smallville.

Almost half of the TV download activity came from the US.