South West revealed as ‘illegal download capital’ of the UK

Tuesday, 8 August, 2017

A brand new study undertaken by a broadband comparison website has polled a cross-section of Britons in order to reveal the locations in the UK where the most illegal internet downloads or streaming take place; with those in the South West revealed to be the most guilty and Scottish residents the least likely to partake in illegally downloading material.

More than two thirds of British adults confess to illegally downloading or streaming content regularly; with Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad and The Walking Dead amongst the most popular TV shows to be viewed this way in the UK.

The research, conducted by, of 4,372 adults aged 18 and over, formed part of a wider study into illegal streaming and downloads. In order to uncover geographical differences in download and streaming habits, respondents were spread equally across the 12 UK regions.

All participants were initially asked “Have you ever knowingly downloaded or streamed content illegally through your phone, computer, television or other device?” to which more than two thirds (67%) admitted to doing so ‘on a regular basis’ (at least once a month or more) and a further 14% said that they did so ‘occasionally’.

When asked to clarify what they’d previously downloaded or streamed illegally; ‘TV shows’ (88%), ‘Football matches’ (60%), ‘Films’ (63%), ‘Music’ (53%) and ‘Games’ (36%) emerged as the top five answers given by relevant respondents.

Of those polled, more than one in ten (11%) confessed to researchers that they were unaware if they’d ever illegally downloaded or streamed content.

Next, all relevant individuals who’d stated they streamed or downloaded TV shows were given an extensive list of popular series and asked to state which they’d watched illegally, with the most common shows emerging as follows:

  1. Game Of Thrones – 26%
  2. Breaking Bad – 17%
  3. The Walking Dead – 14%
  4. The Big Bang Theory – 8%
  5. Grand Tour – 6%

Finally, all respondents who’d ever downloaded or streamed content illegally on the internet were divided into the regions in which they lived and asked to state how many times, in a typical month, they did so. The average answer for each area emerged as follows:

  1. South West – 24
  2. London – 22
  3. Wales – 21
  4. West Midlands – 18
  5. South East – 16
  6. East Midlands – 16
  7. North East – 15
  8. Yorkshire & Humberside -14
  9. East of England – 12
  10. North West – 12
  11. Northern Ireland – 11
  12. Scotland – 10

(number of times respondents illegally stream/download content online per month)

Anyone who’d illegally streamed a football match previously was asked what team they supported, which revealed ‘Manchester United’ (21%), ‘Arsenal’ (19%), Chelsea (15%) fans to be the most likely to do so.

Tom Rodgers, spokesperson for, made the following comments about the findings:

“It seems from our research into the downloading habits of Britons that a very small percentage of people see an issue with essentially viewing content that has been obtained illegally. Whilst it may not seem as serious as some offences; it is by no means a victimless crime.

When someone makes the decision to illegally obtain music, games, films and TV shows there are large numbers of ‘behind the scenes’ individuals, like session musicians, production assistant and junior animators, that are unfairly losing out on money and royalties and potentially the opportunity to work on such creative projects in the future.”

Lauren Wilden
10 Yetis Digital for
T: 01452 348211