An attempt to circumvent illegal downloading has earned HBO’s global hit show Game of Thrones a place in the new Guinness World Records 2016 book for Largest TV drama simulcast.
The second episode of season five of the fantasy epic was broadcast in a staggering 173 countries simultaneously earlier this year, thwarting pirates and ensuring that the show beat the previous record set by CSI just five weeks earlier by two countries.
The American television series, which was adapted by HBO from George R. R. Martin's series of novels,
is filmed in a Belfast studio and at locations all over the globe (Croatia, Iceland, Morocco, Spain, Malta, Scotland and the US), with each episode of the drama costs a stonking $6 m (£3.8 m) to make.
The pilot episode aired in the US in April 2011, and the show has since gone on to attract a huge global fan base.
However, one downside to such popularity has been the huge amount of piracy to illegally download and watch the programme when it has not yet been aired in a particular country.
The issue has seen Game of Thrones earn the unwelcome record for Most pirated television programme - a title the show has held since 2012, leading HBO to make the decision to broadcast episodes of season five around the world simultaneously to counteract the problem.
Receiving an official certificate on behalf of the show was Maisie Williams, who plays Arya Stark, who said: “I'm so pleased for Game of Thrones to be a part of Guinness World Records, I'm going to tell my step brother as he gets the book every year for Christmas. I can't wait to see the look on his face!”
For more exciting television and media records, buy the Guinness World Records 2016 book which is available on September 10th, along with the new Gamer’s Edition – Click here to pre-order a copy.