Germany's home video biz sluggish


COLOGNE, Germany -- Germany's video market is holding steady, but 2007 has been anything but stellar for the country's home entertainment industry.

According to official figures released Thursday by survey group GfK, DVD/video turnover in Germany, both rental and sell-through, stood at €669 million ($897 million) in the first half. That's down slightly from last year's figure of €674 million.

Sell-through figures held steady at €541 million ($726 million) for the half, driven by hits including Sony Pictures' "Casino Royale," Kinowelt soccer documentary "Germany. A Summer Fairytale" and Disney's "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest." But the German rental market slipped 4%, with €121.9 million ($164 million) in total sales.

Piracy and stiff price competition among Germany's big retailers were cited as the main reasons for the poor showing.