I am from Australia (apparently the worst offenders) and I can tell you that no one I know knew that there would be a global release.
More importantly, there is now a culture of downloading in Australia. This was forced on us because of the way that shows were fed to the public here. Perhaps it is a financial thing, I don't know, but TV is shown at some random, usually long, delay (months or even years) from the time it is shown overseas. This means that there is a hype that is lost. Everyone wants to see the show and, if you dont get it at approximately the same time as comments come out in other media, you feel cheated. Many a time I tried to watch a program only to find that it had been shifted or canceled because of some sports event (going right back as far as ST-DS9). As a consequence, when downloading became an option, many people went that way.
The situation has mostly changed here now. For instance Dr Who, Breaking Bad, etc are shown pretty much within the same few days here as OS.
Now the issue is that once you have opened the door, it is difficult to close it. Downloading is not difficult and, if you told someone that for a small effort they could watch the show (adv free) an hour after it was shown OS, why would they not take that option.
If the content broadcasters want to stop pirating, they have to bribe the consumer back. Dropping the price is irrelevant because downloading is essentially free. There has to be a reason why people go back and there has to be a consistency of scheduling. Perhaps you could go on some mailing list where the times for chosen programs are sent to you. Of course that will lead to advertising and spam, so I dont really know how they will get around it. Apparently, in England all BBC shows are available at any time, on any format. Some ABC shows are available that way in Australia. Also, so other free-to-air providers allow streamed vies of their shows, once they have been aired. Perhaps if everything was available that way, it would not be worth the effort to download.