The big screen TV Super Bowl rush

WASHINGTON — We all know the national commercial holiday that Black Friday has become. But in one line of work, there is a second Black Friday, one that, in reality, stretches for two weeks. Those two weeks end this weekend for the big screen television business, which leans on the lead up to the Super Bowl for some of its biggest sales of the year.

Jason Brager, general manager of The Big Screen Store local electronics chain, says they will sell 1,000 televisions or so in the two-week span between Championship Sunday and the Super Bowl, four to five times their usual volume over the same span. And while this time of year has always meant big business in the big screen industry, it’s taken on a new dimension in the past few years.

“It used to be that TVs were always sold at the same price throughout the year,” Bruger explains.

But now manufacturers offer huge rebates, discounting sets $500-$1,000 below their normal prices leading into Super Bowl Weekend. The Big Screen Store even has one 65-inch set on sale this week for below cost.

That being said, nothing helps quite like having a home team in the running.

“When the Ravens made the Super Bowl, it was one of our best years,” says Brager. “Every week that a local team prolongs its life is good for the TV business.”

And when your business straddles two NFL markets, there’s no room for playing favorites.

“With us being in the Baltimore/Washington market, we were hoping that the Redskins would make it a little deeper into the playoffs, maybe to the Super Bowl,” says Brager.

But in case you had any devious designs on buying a set just for the game, then returning it, buyer beware. The Big Screen Store has an exchange-only policy, and you aren’t likely to get more bang for your buck than you will between now and Sunday.

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