Despite the return of familiar NFL champions to Sunday’s Super Bowl LIII contest, the big event is expected to be a relatively good driver of big-screen TVs as well as smaller devices used for streaming.

According to research compiled by the Consumer Technology Association (CTA), an estimated 103 million viewers are expected to tune into the game, including a greater number who have chosen to view it via OTT streaming services instead of (or along with) OTA (over-the-air) antennas or basic cable TV services.

It was still too early to tell exactly how much more motivated consumers will be this year to purchase a new TV for the big game, but historical marketing and purchasing patterns suggest this is generally one of the hottest times of the year to get one — whether it’s to be used to watch the game or something else.

Ben Arnold, Senior Director, Innovation and Trends at CTA said, “Super Bowl [week] is generally within the top 5 selling weeks of the year for TVs – driving demand nationally, but also regionally for the opposing teams. Expect to see TV sales tick up in the LA and St. Louis area – but a smaller jump in the northeast where the Patriots have been in the big game every other year or so. There are positive drivers in place to make it a better than expected Super Bowl sales period with good pricing, excitement around the latest form factors like 4K UHD, OLED and 8K UHD, and more content availability.”

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Among some of the newer trends, according to the CTA’s 2019 Sales & Forecast report, a higher percentage of viewers will be watching the game on bigger screens this year. The research says that more than three quarters of LCD TV shipments in 2019 will be sets with screens 40-inches or larger, with jumbo screens measuring 65-inches or larger accounting for nearly one-in-five (18%) of sets.

In addition, more viewers will be watching the game in some of the best picture quality to date.
The CTA’s 2019 Sales and Forecasts,predict an 8% rise in 4K UHD TV revenue in 2019 compared to 2018, as nearly half of all TVs sold this year are expected to have the higher-than-high-def resolution level.

In addition, shipments of some of the best and more expensive 4K TVs, such as organic light emitting diode (OLED) TVs, for example, are forecast to pass the one-million-unit annual shipment milestone this year on the way to 1.35 million units in the U.S. this year.

Arnold told HD Guru that TV sales this week won’t be limited to just the biggest and best, however.

“Retailers will try to satisfy all types of buyers ahead of the game. Entry-level buyers will see the game as a time to upgrade to 4K UHD TVs, while more premium customers could be enticed by OLED TVs,” Arnold said.

As for how viewers plan to get the broadcasts, the company said the arrival of live TV streaming packages sought after by cost-conscious cord cutters has now tapped into a significantly wider volume of content – including sport events — which the CTA said should help OTT revenues to grow 27% in 2019 to $18.2 billion.

Arnold did have specific data to cite, but added that he expects “usage of second screens to be high” for the game. “The viewing experience on a mobile device or PC is unique from a television allowing audiences to keep their eyes on data and stats, social interactions with media and other fans, and even unique viewing angles of the game.

“Further, there is a huge opportunity to leverage experiences like virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) into game viewing. While the visual broadcast of the game is important, it’s only one component of what consumers are looking for in the Super Bowl experience,” Arnold said.


By Greg Tarr


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