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 purchases, 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.
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!
Marcy Bonebright is a features writer for Dealnews.com, where this article first appeared.