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Television manufacturers are increasingly placing their hopes on smart TVs as traditional television viewership declines. Reuters

People are watching television less frequently as consumers increasingly turn to smartphones and tablets to stay connected.

Only 48 percent of consumers in a typical week watched broadcast or cable television, down from 71 percent in 2009, according to a survey released Monday by consulting firm Accenture. In addition, the percentage of consumers who said they plan to purchase a TV within the next 12 months fell to 32 percent in 2011 from 35 percent the year earlier.

The battle for consumers' eyeballs and time is intensifying, viewership continues to disperse, and we are starting to see the impact on the TV as a screen at home, Mitch Cline, global managing director of Accenture's Electronics and High-Tech Group said in a statement. Craving an always-on, always-connected lifestyle, consumers increasingly are using other consumer electronic devices in their daily lives to access the entertainment that only TV once provided.

Fifty-six percent of the survey respondents said they had changed their behavior due to access to more online content and cloud computing services. For example, 26 percent said they stream media content online, including 37 percent of those ages 18-34.

The people who are more likely to take advantage of opportunities such as streaming content are people owning smartphones and tablets. More than half (53 percent) of respondents said they own a smartphone, up from only 28 percent in 2010. Furthermore, 12 percent of respondents said they own a tablet, up from 8 percent in 2010.

The trend likely isn't reversing. Twenty-seven percent of respondents said they plan to purchase a smartphone in the next 12 months, up from 24 percent in 2010. Meanwhile, 16 percent said they plan on purchasing a tablet in the upcoming year, up from 8 percent in 2010.

Television manufacturers have increasingly looked toward smart TVs to combat flailing demand for traditional TVs. LCD TV shipments are expected to rise 9 percent in 2012 compared to 2011, according to market research firm NPD DisplaySearch. This comes as companies such as Apple and Google are pushing to join the smart TV market.