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TV Purchase Intentions Spike For Super Bowl

Detroit — Despite an anticipated decrease in Super Bowl-related spending, consumers plan to buy more TVs for the big game this year than last.

According to the 2006 Super Bowl Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey — conducted last month by BIGresearch for the Retail Advertising and Marketing Association (RAMA), a division of the National Retail Federation (NRF) — fans anticipate buying 1.7 million new TVs in advance of this weekend’s Super Bowl, compared to 1.4 million sets that were purchased for the occasion in 2005.

BIGresearch’s strategy VP Phil Rist cited CE as a key category for “beef[ing] up retailers’ revenue.”

“Retailers look forward to the Super Bowl every year, knowing that it means big business,” he said. Specifically, 2 percent of the 6,618 respondents queried by BIGresearch said they planned to purchase a TV for the Super Bowl. Of those, 2.9 percent of males and 1.1 percent of females intended to buy a new TV. Broken out by age, the 18- to 24-year-old group showed the greatest inclination to buy (4.5 percent), followed by 25- to 34-year-olds (3.6 percent). Fans between the ages of 55 and 64 were the least inclined to invest in a new set (0.8 percent).

On a regional basis, Midwesterners were most inclined to purchase a new TV for the big game (4.3 percent) — no surprise given the Detroit venue. Purchase intentions in the West, including the Seahawks’ hometown of Seattle, were actually the lowest at 1.0 percent.

What’s more, nearly 40 percent of young adults plan to watch the Steelers and the Seahawks battle it out in HDTV, according to a new RadioShack survey conducted by Roper Public Affairs and Research.

But the projected TV sales gains come amid an anticipated decline in Super Bowl-related spending overall, including refreshments, team apparel and home furnishings, from $5.6 billion last year to $5.3 billion for Super Bowl XL.

Given the midsized markets participating in this Sunday’s game, and despite a halftime show featuring The Rolling Stones, some industry analysts are predicting moderate sales of CE as well. To help boost pre-game business and clear out inventory to make room for new 2006 models, brown goods dealers are turning up the promotional heat. For example, many chains, including Best Buy, Circuit City, Sears, CompUSA and ABC Warehouse, are guaranteeing delivery and/or installation in time for kick off, based on varying deadlines.

Best Buy, for one, is guaranteeing delivery on in-stock TVs 37 inches and larger that are purchased as late as 7:00 pm the night before the game, although service had to be purchased by Jan. 28 to assure installation by Super Bowl Sunday.

Best Buy is also offering what may be the industry’s longest no-interest financing terms yet: three years on home theater purchases totaling $999 or higher.

Good deals also abound at Circuit City, where Sony’s 50W-inch Grand Wega SXRD rear-projection HDTV is selling for $3,150 ($850 off the chain’s regular retail price), while customers can save $200 on Sony’s 32W-inch BRAVIA LCD panel ($1,800), which regularly sells at Circuit City for $2,000.