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LCD, 1080p Drive Super Bowl Sales

Port Washington, N.Y. — LCD TVs dominated television sales in the days leading up to the Super Bowl, according to U.S. retail point-of-sale data released by The NPD Group on Thursday.

U.S. retail sales of LCD TVs accounted for nearly $250 million the week of the Super Bowl (week ending Feb. 2, 2008) and captured almost 80 percent of all TV unit sales and revenue, the market analysts said. The study also tracked a significant uptick in sales of HDTVs with full 1080p resolution.

LCD unit volume increased 41 percent from the prior week (week ending Jan. 26, 2008) and revenue was up 36 percent, NPD said.

Plasma TVs increased 52 percent in units and 33 percent in dollars for the same time period, while rear projection sets showed some life, up 48 percent in units and 38 percent in revenue, according to the study.

Having TVs with higher resolution was part of consumers’ game plan this year. 1080p LCD TVs accounted for 35 percent of LCD unit sales Super Bowl week, up from just 13 percent last year. While 720p LCDs were still the best selling, unit share dropped from 73 percent for Super Bowl 2007 to 63 percent this year.

Plasma TVs also saw a shift in sales, according to the study. Models with 1080p resolution went from less than 1 percent of plasma TV sales last year, to nearly 16 percent this year. Models with 720p resolution dropped from 95 percent, to 80 percent, of sales in the period.

“Although the Super Bowl broadcast could not take full advantage of 1080p-native televisions, consumers are clearly looking forward to more programming at this high resolution,” stated Ross Rubin, The NPD Group industry analysis director. “The spectacle of the NFL’s championship game continues to drive demand for big-screen televisions.”

Consumer trends may have been led by heavy promoting from the manufacturers and retailers. According to NPD’s Retail Insight Service, LCD TVs accounted for 70 percent of promotions in the week of the Super Bowl, just under the 74 percent seen for the holiday season, but well ahead of the 51 percent for 2007 Super Bowl advertising.

There was also a big push for 1080p. Models with 1080p resolution accounted for 50 percent of the promotional share the week of the Super Bowl, up from the 18 percent share in 2007 and 10 percent share in 2006.

“LCD TV obviously made up the bulk of the advertising this year but what is compelling is the increased push for 1080p televisions, which ensures greater overall profitability for resellers and manufacturers,” said Samir Bhavnani, The NPD Group consumer technology director.

Super Bowl Week TV Unit Share and Average Selling Price (ASP)

Source: The NPD Group/Weekly Tracking Service

Super Bowl Week TV Promotional Share

Source: The NPD Group/Retail Insight Service