Malaysian Super League records over 77 million viewers

The recent 2021 Malaysian Super League (MSL) has recorded a massive 77,965,339 viewers across major broadcasting platforms, according to data as of September 20.

With 132 live matches screened by Internet provider unifi on its official YouTube channel, the number is unsurprisingly high compared to last season’s 16,223,282 viewers based on only 66 matches being played.

In the 2020 season, the COVID-19 pandemic and the Malaysian Government’s movement control order had affected the league’s organisation, fixtures, and fans’ attendance.

The live matches were broadcasted on Sports Channel at unifi TV and unifi PlayTV, unifi’s YouTube, and free-to-air channel TV1 RTM via unifi’s top box set. The collective numbers are 35,891,793 viewers.

The MSL 2021 live matches on unifi’s YouTube commenced from Week 5 until Week 11.

The Week 5 fixtures were broadcasted live for free as part of an initiative by unifi’s parent company Telekom Malaysia, which is the league’s sponsor.

The broadcast followed the restrictions imposed on fan attendance starting on the third fixtures on March 11 to the 13th fixtures on May 9.

Malaysian Football League President Dato’ Ab Ghani Hassan believed that the latest data on the 2021 season shows that the Malaysian League still attracts football fans to continue following their favourite teams, as well as the alluring characteristics of the said league.

“These numbers are absolutely positive amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. This shows that MSL 2021 is closely followed by its ardent fans,” he said.

“We thank all teams who have given their topmost commitment in competing, as well as to unifi for their free broadcast on its platform, as well as to RTM for ensuring fans were able to watch the matches during the restriction period.

“I also believe that with these initiatives, our local football industry will grow again and make the Malaysian League a name to be remembered. To our fans, no words can describe how thankful we are for your endless support to your teams. We hope that this continuous support will also be extended into the currently-played centenary Malaysia Cup competition,” he added.

Based on the data, the much-anticipated fixture between Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) and Selangor FC at the Sultan Ibrahim Stadium on March 17 recorded 1,710,079 viewers on unifi’s YouTube channel.

This was followed by the match between JDT and Terengganu FC at the same venue on April 24 with 1,684,922 viewers. The third most-viewed match came from the match between Penang FC and JDT at the Bandaraya Stadium on May 8 with 1,630,076 viewers.

As of September 20, JDT became the most-viewed team on that particular platform at 22,600,959 views, followed by Kedah Darul Aman FC at 15,901,863, and Penang FC at 13,211,869 views.

The live telecast via the three channels also showed JDT’s supremacy with 698,341 viewers for the Terengganu FC match at Johor on May 10, followed by the away match in Kedah on May 4 with 670,706 viewers.

This is followed by the match between the said match on May 17 with 651,295 views.

The recently concluded MSL 2021 saw JDT defending their record eighth league title with the highest scoreline being recorded in a match between Perak FC and Penang, with the latter won 3-5. Selangor’s striker Ifedayo Omosuyi emerged as the league’s top scorer.

This article was first published on 16 October 2021 in our Weekly E-Paper issue 163


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