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Brazil: World Cup to Drive HD, SD Flat-Panel Growth

The Winter Olympics may be history, but another global sports event looms only months away with the 2010 World Cup soccer tourney in South Africa, June 11-July 11. That could spell good news for HD set makers in especially soccer-crazy countries like Brazil.

Much as the Super Bowl and winter/summer Olympics in North America are often targeted as marketing enablers to spur the sale of HD products, DisplaySearch is forecasting the timing of the World Cup should provide a similar impetus for a surge in TV sales in Brazil.

In a flat-panel sales survey centering on the Brazilian market, Texas-based DisplaySearch said a decline in DTV demand over the past few years likely will reverse itself by late spring for soccer-hungry viewers. Such a surge would be typical for Brazil, which saw a bump in HD/SD set sales in 2006 (as well as analog-era sales jumps for earlier World Cups).

More than nine-million DTV units were shipped in Brazil in 2009, and DisplaySearch forecasts LCD (HD and SD) shipments will grow nearly 70 percent this year. The consultancy also forecasts LCD shipments for Brazil will outpace CRT shipments for the first time ever, by the end of 2010.

While SDTV is still far more prevalent than HDTV for the moment, DisplaySearch said nearly a quarter of Brazilian households have access to digital broadcasts in 26 cities. (A total analog cut-off is not expected until 2016.)