France's video publishers union (SEV) says piracy played a big role in the fall in sales of DVDs last year.

Although no dollar values were given in the initial report on last year, the SEV says 2006 saw a drop in sales in DVD sales in France of roughly 7% with a 4% drop in volume were noted.

Most affected by the malaise were genre films, which were down 14% in terms of receipts. French film sales were up, while sales of non-feature DVDs - mostly TV series - also saw an 11% increase in value.

The SEV blamed piracy and other forms of free internet content, Despite the downturn, nearly 80% of households are now equipped with DVD players with 120 million sold during 2006.

The SEV maintains that while the sector has become fragile, DVD sales continue to significantly help finance local cinema via a tax that goes into the national cinema body's production fund.