PARIS: Consumers in France increased the amount of time they spent watching television last year, despite the rising number of media channels competing for their attention, new research has revealed.

Médiamétrie, the insights group, reported that the average viewer consumed broadcast content for three hours 50 minutes in 2012, an improvement of twenty minutes compared with 2011.

This figure got even closer to four hours a day during the first half of last year, a trend driven by major events such as the presidential elections, when 29m people tuned in to see the results.

Elsewhere, the Euro 2012 football tournament and Olympic Games proved especially popular. More than 30 sporting occasions throughout the year secured over 7m viewers, according to the study.

The number of programmes attracting at least 1m viewers – considered to be a large audience – also increased, hitting 531 shows in all.

An estimated 8m people watched content on-demand a month, with over 50% using computers for this purpose, and 33% on TV sets.

More broadly, a 28% share of the internet audience used their laptop at the same time as watching television, falling to 25% for mobile phones and 3% for tablets.

An additional 39% of consumers would be interested in commenting on television programmes on social media and similar sites, but only 8% had already done so, the analysis revealed.

Data sourced from Médiamétrie; additional content by Warc staff