The Super Bowl and TV Prices

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The big game is over, now it's time to tally up the cost.

Retailers selling televisions cut prices going into this Super Bowl with deeper discounts than a year ago, according to Dynamite Data, which tracks daily pricing on a variety of items through more than a billion web pages.

Best Buy ran "doorbuster" sales in January similar to Black Friday for the first time, cutting prices in-store and online "by up to 40 percent on flat-screens, including larger models that have grown popular in recent years."

Dynamite Data examined price fluctuations for the top 10 best-selling HDTVs at Best Buy, Amazon, Sears and Walmart. The company created an index which tracked pricing from Black Friday through the Super Bowl.

Last year, prices on those TVs dropped 3 percent in the week leading up to the Super Bowl. This year, they dropped more than twice as much, 6.68 percent, though the original price of the televisions was "considerably more" than a year ago.

So what's the net effect?

Before the Super Bowl last year, Dynamite Data says the average price of a popular HDTV hit a low of $731. This year, even with steeper discounts, "prices only dipped to $735." Where are they now? "As of this morning, HDTV prices are returning to prices just under $800. Merchants are in the process of clearing out old inventory and will keep prices as high as possible through March."

Well, I guess you can wait until March when, like a car dealer, TV showrooms need to be cleared for the new models.