According to TorrentFreak, Game of Thrones was the single most torrented show on TV last year, with 4.3 million downloads per episode.
But speaking at the University of Western Australia as part of the Perth Festival, GoT director David Petrarca said that unauthorised downloads didn't matter -- and that they actually helped generate a "cultural buzz" that was beneficial for the show and other similar programs.
"It's how they survive," he said.
Game of Thrones has proven successful for HBO, averaging 10.3 million viewers per episode, and it's already the third most viewed show in HBOs history.
Season three begins airing in the US in March.