VOD on fast track in France

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PARIS -- Video is certainly in demand in France, with titles on offer from the territory's seven VOD operators increasing 23% from November 2006 to March 2007, national film body the CNC announced today.

Orange, Canal Play, TF1 Vision, Virgin Mega, Francetvod, AtreVod and Club Internet offered a total of 1,612 films to subscribers as of March 31, 2007, a huge jump from the 1,311 titles available at the end of November 2006.

French films are the most ubiquitous, representing 44% of downloadable titles, compared to 39.1% U.S. films and 10.2% non-French European movies. However, the amount of recent theatrical releases offered has fallen.

Just 16.3% of the VOD films available were released in theaters in the past three years and 8.6% in the past year, versus a respective 21.1% and 11.4% at the end of November 2006.

The study, conducted by the CNC in partnership with the Novatris Institute, concluded that the popularity of VOD formats is on an upward climb as two-thirds of Internet users "have already heard about" VOD and 9% of them "have already used a VOD service," compared with just 4.4% at the end of November 2006, the CNC said in a statement.

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