Italians, Spanish Are Europe's Top TV Addicts
British viewers were not far behind, clocking up more than 3.5 hours on average a day, while Austrians proved more imaginative in their choice of entertainment, watching just 2.5 hours per day, according to a report by media agency The Media Edge.
Putting to rest fears that the Internet would draw viewers away from the television set, the report showed that Europeans are watching more television than ever. But only 51% of European viewers have access to pay television.
The research, part of a study into media consumption in Europe by The Media Edge and the World Advertising Research Centre, also showed that Internet use in Europe had risen from one in 10 adults three years ago to more than one in three in 2000.
Nordic countries had the highest rate of adult Internet surfers, with more than 50% claiming to be regular users, while usage was lowest in the southern reaches such as Spain and Portugal at just over 10%.
In terms of newspaper readership, Britain has been toppled by Germany from its top position in Europe.
The report showed that while Britain had Europe's highest national daily newspaper circulation figures per 100 population at 40.5 in 1989, that figure had fallen to 31.4 in 1999.
However in Germany, the proportion of people reading national daily newspapers grew to Europe's highest of 39.1 in 1999, compared to 18 in 1989.