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TV watchers multitasking, viewing more online -global poll

A woman carrying a child looks at an iPad tablet after the Emporio Armani Spring/Summer 2013 collection at Milan Fashion Week September 20,
A woman carrying a child looks at an iPad tablet after the Emporio Armani Spring/Summer 2013 collection at Milan Fashion Week September 20,

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Consumers are multitasking and using other electronic devices such as phones and tablets while they watch television, according to a survey released on Monday.

The online poll of 3,501 consumers in France, Brazil, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States showed that an overwhelming majority, 90 percent, said they watched some video content over the Internet, with the tablet seeing the biggest increase.

"Consumers can't just watch TV anymore," said Francesco Venturini, of the management consulting and technology services firm Accenture's Media & Entertainment industry group.

"The rise in multitasking while watching TV suggests that scheduled programming, also known as Linear TV, may be losing its appeal for sophisticated users, presenting both challenges and opportunities for broadcasters and content providers," Venturini added.

According to the third annual Video Over Internet survey, 77 percent of consumers said they regularly use their computer while watching television, an increase of 16 percentage points from just a year ago.

But people also said their simultaneous computer usage is mostly unrelated to the programs they are watching.

An exception was the use of tablets, which correlated more closely with what consumers were watching compared to laptops or smartphones.

Only 17 percent of people using tablets during TV time said their activity was unrelated to the TV content they were viewing.

Tablet use during television viewing also saw the biggest increase in the past year, soaring from 11 percent to 44 percent, despite fewer people owning them compared to computers or smartphones.

The survey also found that consumers are increasingly using local online video service providers, an increase from 37 percent to 40 percent, a similar amount to the decrease in use by global providers like Netflix and YouTube.

And a majority of respondents identified traditional TV broadcasters as the providers they trusted most to offer video over the Internet on their TV screen.

Accenture consulting firm conducted the survey in February and March, with Brazil's sample disproportionately represented by urban populations. No margin of error was provided.

(Reporting by Chris Michaud; Editing by Patricia Reaney and Doina Chiacu)

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