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Contrary to Popular Belief, Nobody Is Buying a TV for the Super Bowl

We conducted a poll to see if all the hype about buying a TV for the Super Bowl is warranted. Apparently, it's not. Most people buy a TV during Black Friday or around Christmas.
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With Super Bowl XLVIII looming on the horizon, media outlets are all atwitter about how everyone is buying a new TV for the big game. The Super Bowl is America's most-watched television show each year, with lots of folks hosting viewing parties. Clearly, football fans across the country must be rushing out to buy a bigger set in time to cheer on their team of choice. Except ... they aren't.

This week we polled more than 1,200 DealNews readers about their TV-buying habits. It turns out the Super Bowl has little to no bearing on America's television decisions, as the month of January saw no spike in purchases last year. Instead, it looks like Black Friday and Christmas are the true motivators when it comes to TV sales.

Most People Buy a TV During Winter Sales, But Not in January

In our poll, we asked whether users bought a TV in 2013. Of those who said yes, the majority (50%) said they had purchased their set in November or December. The timing makes sense; we see some of our biggest discounts on TVs in those months, during Black Friday and the Christmas lead-up. Conversely, only 5% of people who bought a TV in 2013 did so during January, the month that immediately precedes the Super Bowl. That's about on par with the buying frequency of every other month besides November and December.

Super Bowl chart

We found more evidence to suggest that sales are a big motivator for TV purchases, as the poll revealed that people paid less for bigger TVs. About 54% of poll-takers said they'd purchased a 50" or larger class TV in 2013, and 66% of those buyers said they'd spent $1,000 or less on their big-screen sets. Better yet, 17% of big-screen buyers found an awesome bargain, saying they'd spent less than $500 on their TVs.

Popular Brand Names Carry Less Weight, Especially in Big Screens

Research and financial planning clearly played a big role in 2013 television purchases, as 85% of respondents said their purchases were not "impulse buys." Also, name-brand sets don't seem to carry the influence they once did. While Samsung was the most popular single brand of TV bought, garnering 26% of all 2013 purchases, 36% of poll-takers said they'd bought a Vizio, Seiki, or other lesser-known brand of television.

That said, Vizio was the most popular of the lower-tier brands, earning 17% of purchases. Is Vizio breaking down the old "bargain TV" stigmas held by consumers? Could be! Vizio was the most popular brand among the notoriously fickle big-screen purchasers, manufacturing 26% of the 55" or larger televisions bought in 2013 according to our poll.

Maybe buying a TV for the Super Bowl was the norm in days gone by, but that doesn't seem to be the case anymore. Like so many purchases these days, buying a television comes down to finding a good deal. Readers, are you someone that will buy a TV for the game? Or maybe you'll purchase something else to enhance your viewing experience, like a new sound system? Spill your Super Bowl plans in the comments below!


Features Writer

Marcy pens consumer news stories of all sorts, in addition to adding pithy prose to many of the roundups you see every day. Her work for DealNews has appeared on sites like Lifehacker, the Huffington Post, and MSN Money. She is by far the most metal member of the DealNews staff, and you can see why by following her on Twitter @ThatBonebright.
Please note that, although prices sometimes fluctuate or expire unexpectedly, all products and deals mentioned in this feature were available at the lowest total price we could find at the time of publication (unless otherwise specified).
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8 comments
compucat
It just so happens that I am in the market for a TV this weekend but the Super Bowl isn't the reason for the purchase. I just moved. I've got my eye on the Editor's Choice Sharp 40" Hopefully something better comes along but that $350 price is sick.
kRaYzRaY
My wife's uncle "rented" a 72" Sharp Aquos from HHGregg for the 2012 Super Bowl. It was hilarious.
chocolatedeath
I wont, but I am in the market for a large tv if I can find a 80 inch for about 2grand. lol
acidrain69
Meh, who knows? Rumor has it that's what put circuit city under. The loss of the Super Bowl shelf restocking fees. Just kidding.
dealnews-Lindsay
@acidrain69 Did people REALLY do that all that much? We found a lot of stories that suggest it, but it just seems like so much work + risk.
Grampa_cheap_ass
I will not buy that Vizio brand it's a cheap bastards tv if you ask me. I would buy a RCA tv before that cheap Vizio brand.
acidrain69
Oops. Now that TVs are under a grand for 60+ inches, and high def content is readily available, the people who would have "borrowed" a big screen already own one.
acidrain69
It made sense back in the day when a 40-50" projection 4:3 SD resolution was the best you could get (in the US) and it cost $2k and you could return it after the Super Bowl. Now that b
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