A Deep Dive Into the Viewership Statistics of MPL Indonesia, Philippines, Malaysia, and Singapore

Data from Esports Charts suggest that MPL ID S7, at its peak, has the most viewers compared to the other three leagues

Moonton organizes the national league of Mobile Legends: Bang Bang in four countries, namely Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia, and Singapore. MPL Indonesia and Singapore ended in early May, while Philippines' and Malaysia's MPL finished on Sunday, May 30, 2021. With all the MPLs coming to their conclusion, we can compare the four Mobile Legends national leagues and measure their popularities. We will be using data from Esports Charts as our primary benchmark.

MPL League Viewers 

Of the four national leagues of Mobile Legends, MPL ID and MPL PH generally accumulates the most spectators. At its peak, the viewership numbers of both these leagues can go over 1 million. More precisely, the peak viewers of MPL ID reached 1.8 million while MPL PH reached 1.4 million. Furthermore, the total watch hours for both leagues also amount to tens of millions of hours: MPL ID has 54.5 million watch hours, and MPL PH has 33.1 million watch hours. In terms of the average number of viewers, MPL ID and MPL PH has around 321 thousand and 201.7 thousand viewers, respectively.

Peak viewers of MPL in 4 countries. | Source: Esports Charts

Moving on to Malaysia, MPL MY reached approximately 3.8 million watch hours with an average of 20.7 thousand viewers. At its peak, MPL MY's viewership number did reach 111.2 thousand. On the other hand, MPL SG underwhelmingly accumulated 213.4 thousand watch hours, 2.6 thousand average viewers, and 22.7 thousand peak viewership numbers. However, 2021 is, after all, the first season of MPL SG. Before 2021, the Malaysian and Singapore MPLs were integrated into one league.

Total watch hours of MPL in 4 countries. | Source: Esports Charts

There are several obvious reasons why MPL ID and MPL PH have far more viewers compared to MPL MY or SG. The first factor that comes into play is the larger population of both countries. According to data from Worldometer, Indonesia's and the Philippines' population in 2020 will reach over 273 million and 109 million, respectively. In comparison, Malaysia has a total population of 32 million people, while Singapore's population is only a mere 5.8 million people.

Therefore, comparing raw watch hours and viewership numbers will not paint the correct picture regarding the popularity of each MPL league. Fortunately, Moonton also broadcast MPL in English (other than the usual first language of each country). In an attempt to find the proper benchmark to measure the popularity of each country's MPL, we can compare the statistics based on English MPL broadcasts.

The MPL English Broadcast Audience

With data from Esports Charts, we compared the number of viewers from MPL ID, MPL PH, MPL MY, and MPL SG English broadcasts. Even though MPL ID, by far, has the highest number of spectators, there are only an average of 28.5 thousand viewers on its English broadcast.

The same trend occurs in both MPL MY, where the viewership numbers differ drastically from 111 thousand to only 10.2 thousand. Although MPL PH also has a decrease in spectators on English broadcasts, it still has a relatively large audience of 146.8 thousand. On the other hand, the number of peak viewers from MPL SG did not change, accumulating 22.7 thousand spectators.

Peak viewers of MPL English broadcasts in 4 countries. | Source: Esports Charts

In Indonesia, the matchup between EVOS Legends and Bigetron Alpha in the final round was the match that attracted the most spectators. At its peak, the match gathered as many as 1.84 million viewers, 1.81 million of those viewers were from the Indonesian broadcast. The English broadcast, unfortunately, only merely surpassed a peak of 28.5 thousand spectators. 

The trend in MPL MY and MPL PH is somewhat different from MPL ID. In Indonesia, the final round is usually considered the "main event" where it will attract the most audience. This notion applies to both the Indonesian and English broadcast of MPL ID. However, in MPL MY and MPL PH, the popular matches in the English broadcast differ from the popular matches broadcasted in their native language.

Most popular matches in MPL PH in general (above) and on English broadcasts (below). | Source: Esports Charts

So far, the most popular match from MPL PH is the final round match between XctN against Blacklist International, which managed to get an audience of up to 1.4 million people. In the English broadcast of MPL PH, however, NXP.SOLID versus Laus Playbook Esports (LPE) on Week 1, Day 2 was the most viewed match (attracting peak viewership numbers of over 146.8 thousand).

The same thing occurs in MPL MY. The most popular match in the Malay broadcast was between TODAK and RSG on Day 3 of the Playoffs. On the other hand, the most-watched match in the English broadcast was between Still Moving Under Gunfire (SMG) team against the Geek Family on Day 1 of the Playoffs. The two matchups gathered an audience of around 112.2 thousand and 10.2 thousand people, respectively.

Most popular matches from MPL MY in general (above) and on English broadcasts (below). | Source: Esports Charts

With regards to the view count on each platform, YouTube still accounts for the most of the views, followed by NimoTV, and finally, Facebook. As an illustration, the final match between EVOS Legends and BigetronA has around 999 thousand peak viewers on YouTube, while NimoTV only had about 854 thousand peak viewers and Facebook merely reached 146 thousand viewers.

In Indonesia, Moonton broadcasts MPL on the three platforms mentioned above. In the Philippines, apart from these three platforms, MPL PH also broadcasts through TikTok. Both Malaysia and Singapore broadcast MPL on Youtube and TikTok, with the exception that Malaysia also uses the Facebook platform.

Peak viewers of MPL on different platforms. | Source: Esports Charts

The graph above illustrates the contribution of each platform in terms of viewership numbers. In Indonesia, the two most widely used platforms are YouTube and NimoTV. Facebook, interestingly, contributes most of the views in MPL PH, followed by YouTube. In Malaysia, the popularity of YouTube and Facebook almost has the same popularity, accumulating around 60 thousand views. Lastly, YouTube seems to be the most preferred platform to watch MPL by Singaporean fans.

Disclosure: Hybrid is a media partner of Esports Charts. This article is translated by: Ananto Joyoadikusumo