Football is a truly global game that appeals to people right across the world, even when there is no direct local involvement.
Among non-participating countries, the World Cup has so far been most popular in Hungary, relative to the size of its population. Each match has been watched by an average of 13% of its population. Very high ratings have also been achieved in Bulgaria (12%), Norway (10%) and Austria (10%).
These average ratings are even higher than in a number of countries whose teams are playing at the World Cup. In the UK, only 9% of the population has watched on average so far, and in France that figure is only 8%.
Major international soccer tournaments often draw large audiences among non-participating countries. At the last World Cup, half of the top 16 countries ranked by average audience did not qualify for the tournament.
If you have an opinion on this or any other issue raised on Brand Republic, join the debate in the Forum.