45% of Europeans watch TV online

motorola.jpgA new study from Motorola has found that an amazing 45% of European broadband users now watch at least some television online.

The survey covering the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy and Spain found that the French lead Europe in terms of online television consumption with 59% of people choosing to watch previews and episodes of their favorite shows via the web with the Germans trailing at 33%.

The survey did not ask where the respondents obtained the content, ignoring the reality that many were possibly downloading television shows from BitTorrent or similar services.

The results further strengthen the business models of startups such as Joost, that seek to target a massive potential audience through the use of streamed content over a P2P network, but with the safeguards of DRM and imposed advertising delivery built in.

The survey also found that 45% of Europeans expect to be making video calls via their home TV’s by 2012.

“Viewers across Europe are no longer satisfied with fitting into schedules dictated by broadcasters and are turning to the choice and flexibility offered by TV over the internet,” Motorola’s Karl Elliott told the BBC.

“We are witnessing a nation of citizen schedulers who are in control of their entertainment, allowing them to watch what they want, how and when they want it.”

The convergance of Television and the Internet, despite recent false starts with products such as Microsoft’s Windows Media Center, looks set to continue.