According to a few recent stories, including this write-up from Last100, some studios may be intentionally seeding content onto BitTorrent:
While the Motion Picture Association of America is uploading fake torrents of movies to discourage torrent use, mainstream television show producers are engaging in flirtatious trials with torrents as a viable new way to promote their programs and reach new audiences. Broadcasters aren’t posting their shows directly on PirateBay yet, but they are talking informally and giving copies of shows to a friend of a friend who is unaffiliated with the company to make a torrent. The Weeds show producer Jenji Kohan hinted at both her approval of the leaks and the reasons behind them [...]
Unlike, music and movies which have historically relied on the sale of physical media, most television shows are disposable and don’t end up in syndication or as DVDs on our shelves. So, it’s a reasonable strategy to give away episodes as a means to draw in new viewers – whether the giving be done on a website or via BitTorrent. Those services have made a viewer out of me — Torrents for Dexter led to a Showtime subscription (good for them and Comcast) and catching up with torrents of Traveler led me to watch the show real-time with commercials. (Though the mini-series non-finale was BS, and I want all my time back.) Not to mention, if you’ve been keeping up with ZNF lately you know, I’m now a Burn Notice fan thanks to web-streaming via Hulu and awaiting Season 2 – which I’ll watch live.