What the Super Bowl Tells Us About TV Buying

By Omid Rahmat
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There’s nothing quite like the showcase of the NFL season, the Super Bowl, at least when it comes to TVs. The FIFA World Cup draws a much bigger worldwide audience and it can juice TV sales, too. But the Super Bowl goes bigger. You get the big screens and outdoor displays in and around the game, they never fail to disappoint, and then you get the pile on by TV manufacturers in the US retail market as discounts go kind of cray-cray; although they may not be as big as Black Friday, there’s a bigger pool to choose from and not a lot of limitations.

This year’s Super Bowl LVII is taking place on February 12, 2023, in Glendale, Arizona. And I thought it would be interesting to anecdotally try to read the tea leaves of TV discounts and make some unfounded prognostications. But, I am not going to start with TVs. Let’s start with Apple, a company not known for heavy discounting, ever. According to Consumer Reports, the company’s Apple TV 4K is selling on Amazon for about $20 less than its previous low on Black Friday. Is that telling about the general state of the market or just Apple? I have a feeling that the multi-trillion behemoth that is Apple will tread on everyone’s toes and crush all in its path to keep its numbers up while having to acknowledge that it may not have new products to fire up upgrades and sales this year, as well as maybe having to admit that it may have lost a little of its mojo.

Another bellwether of discounts is Sony. Again, not a company that is known for discounting. According to the same report, the Sony XBR-65A8H is selling for much less than it did last year. Then there’s Samsung’s QN65S95B selling for half its list price, and TCL ‘s 75R635 is just under $1,200, which was its holiday sale price. That’s kind of the higher end of the experience spectrum. You go for a Hisense 55-inch U6G 4K Roku TV and you can pick it up for about $369.99 at Best Buy.

Think hard about those prices because it doesn’t feel like it is a Super Bowl thing. It feels like a this is the way it is going to be from now on kind of thing. And the longer discounts stay, and they have been sitting at these levels for a while, the longer consumers will see these prices as the norm.