International manufacturers shipped 3.3 million televisions (TVs) to Brazil in the first quarter of 2014, up 57% from a year earlier, according to industry researcher NPD Group. This is a rare bright spot for TV manufacturers, as total shipments for the quarter increased only 0.4% from the same period in 2013.
TV manufacturers and retailers see a consistent connection between big games and large TV sets. Almost a quarter of Americans who own high definition (HD) TVs bought them for the specific purpose of watching the Super Bowl, according to a survey conducted last year by the Consumer Electronics Association. But people who buy televisions before a big sporting event often pay less than they would at other times of the year. Many retailers offer significant discounts leading up to the game, making January the cheapest month to buy a TV.
World Cup-related sales spikes seem to generate pretty much exclusively in Latin America even if the games are played elsewhere, says Paul Gagnon of NPD. TV shipments to the region rose 30% in 2010, a gain he attributes to the improvement in the global economy at the time. But the World Cup, which took place in South Africa that year, played a significant role in spurring flat screen sales in Latin America. “It kind of coalesced in 2010 for a perfect storm in Brazil,” comments Gagnon.