Updated! Boston — Super Bowl is traditionally a peak period for TV demand, but a severe winter storm barreling down on the home turf of Big Game-contender the New England Patriots could put a serious crimp in sales.
The blizzard, which is set to hammer 60 million residents throughout much of the Northeast, was described by the National Weather service as “historic” and “life-threatening.”
The storm comes just days before this Sunday’s Super Bowl XLIX contest in Glendale, Ariz., between the Patriots and Seattle Seahawks.
The National Retail Federation (NRF), in its annual Super Bowl Spending Survey, had expected about 9.6 million TVs to be purchased in advance of the Big Game, based on a pre-storm poll.
More than three-quarters of the nation’s adults (18 years and older) are expected to watch the game, and 8.8 percent of viewers planned to buy a TV for the event, up from 7.2 percent last year, the survey showed.
TV intentions were also high in a separate study commissioned by FatWallet.com, the e-commerce aggregation site that provides sales alerts, coupon codes and cash-back incentives to shoppers. According to its TV Buyer Survey of 1,000 adults conducted earlier this month, 26 percent said they planned to buy a new TV this year, and 20 percent of those said they would do so during Super Bowl promotions.
Among the intended TV buyers, Super Bowl was second only to Black Friday as the preferred TV shopping period, down from first place last year. The poll also showed that TV purchasing decisions are influenced most by price (45 percent), and that one in four now stream the majority of their TV programming.
“If you missed the Black Friday TV deals, Super Bowl sales offer shoppers an opportunity to save money upgrading their streaming capabilities and the big game experience,” said FatWallet spokesman Brent Shelton.
That sentiment was echoed by retailers, who emphasized value and improved technologies like 4K resolution in their consumer marketing.
Best Buy, for one, noted that the last time the Patriots won the Super Bowl, in 2005, a 50-inch HDTV (an RCA DLP rear-projection set) sold for $2,799 in its stores, compared to a current-day 50-inch Insignia LCD that sells for $399.
Best Buy’s Super Bowl deals feature a range of 55-inch LG models, including a 1080p OLED for $3,000, a $1,000 savings; a 4K UHD Smart TV for $1,200, a $600 savings; and a 1080p LED for $500, a $150 savings.
Similarly, hhgregg CEO Dennis May noted that “Recent innovations around clarity and shape, including curved screens, are creating even better viewing experiences for families and sports fans.”
The company also commissioned yet another survey, of 3,500 U.S. consumers, which identified the latest HDTVs as “the item most likely to improve Big Game viewing experiences” – more than new living room furniture and a home theater system.
Super Bowl offers from hhgregg include a 47 inch LG HDTV for $399, a savings of $300; a 46-inch Samsung smart TV for $500; and a 65-inch Toshiba smart TV for $999, a savings of $600.
The company is also promoting what may be the third-best Super Bowl accoutrement after big-screen TVs and beer: “Relaxing recliners” starting at $299.