Meanwhile, I watch about 97% of what I download.
"OMG, you're a filthy pirate for downloading our show," wail the production companies' pitbulls.
Here's an idea: make the programs available legitimately at a reasonable price. No DRM and decent quality, same as the "pirate" sites offer. At a reasonable price. Ad-free, same as the "pirate" sites offer. Sweeten things with higher quality video & audio, 5.1 audio and subtitles to encourage payment as an alternative the free "pirate" offerings. And make it available right away. Withhold the DVDs and/or encumber what limited download options you do offer with DRM and you're just pissing in our corn flakes. Nobody likes piss-soaked corn flakes.
Reasonable price + ad free = don't go together. Sorry, but the ads are keeping prices down. I get that you think prices are too high, but they'd be higher still if everything worked the way HBO did. Or your programming wouldn't have ads, but would have sponsors, and would be interrupted from time to time for fund raising, if it worked the way PBS did.
For us, stealing everything just doesn't feel right. Yet we have TV's in places where cable jacks aren't, don't like the bulky cable boxes anyway, etc, and went with Playstation Vue (no Playstation required, you can go with a $40 Roku or Fire TV Stick as a one time per TV purchase). We pay $45, get all the locals (because we're in one of select markets), get just about every channel other than BBC America and CW we care about, the CW now offers their shows free via an app, and have a 30 day cloud DVR so yes, we skip commercials.
Someone will inevitably say but what if I want to watch it 40 days later??? Yup, that's a trade off we made. If it ever did happen, maybe it eventually shows up on Netflix. Maybe I drop $2 on Amazon to watch it. Maybe it just wasn't a life altering all important thing that I couldn't live without.
My concern with pirating, besides the ethical and legal issues, is that if it becomes popular enough, there won't be anything to pirate. If nobody paid for anything, they'd stop making it.