Double dip: French DVD sales down again

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PARIS -- French DVD sales were down for the second consecutive year in 2006, dropping more than 6% in value from 2005's €1.15 billion (French site), according to French video trade association the Syndicat de l'Edition Video, which represents the country's DVD distributors.

Feature films were hit hardest, with the value of sales down 14% on a 4% decrease in volume. Non-feature film DVD sales, meanwhile, increased 11% in value, due mainly to the success of popular TV series.

Despite plummeting DVD sales, attributed by some to the growth of illegal Internet downloading, the DVD market remains stable, according to the SEV. About 80% of French households own a DVD player and 120 million DVDs were sold in 2006.

"In a context marked by excellent results for theatrical film releases, the SEV is keeping in mind that the DVD contributes significantly to the financing of French films, yet remains a fragile market," the association said in a statement Friday.

Dollar figures for 2006 were not available at press time.
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