PARIS: TV habits are undergoing a profound shift across Europe, with more and more consumers buying next-gen TV sets and embracing multi-screening, according to a new report.

Eurodata TV Worldwide, owned by French media research firm Mediamétrie, said that overall TV viewing times had increased across the continent over the first eight months of 2012, with popular sporting events including the Olympic Games and European football championships providing a crucial boost.

France saw the biggest shift in daily habits, with TV viewing habits up eight minutes to 3 hours and 50 minutes. Spain was close behind, up seven minutes to 4:02.

"Predicted as a record year for worldwide TV consumption, 2012 could in fact be above all a year of transition, with a revolution in behaviours," said Eurodata president Jacques Braun.

Increased ownership of mobile devices and connected TVs helped to "support" viewing times, according to analysis accompanying the Eurodata TV figures.

GFK data cited by the report suggests that sales of smart TV systems in Germany are up 74% year on year, while tablet ownership has expanded by over 150% over the same period in the UK.

There is evidence that these mobile devices are being used for multiscreening – using mobile at the same time as watching TV – with a majority (51%) of France's digital population having adopted the habit.

Amandine Cassi, head of international TV research at Eurodata TV, added: “Creating interest, offering interactivity, extending the experience and inspiring engagement are at the heart of connected TV strategies.

"These cover different media and add to the dynamism of the international broadcast market."

Data sourced from Eurodata TV; additional content by Warc staff