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Will Skiles, a Magnolia Home Theater Sales Consultant at Best Buy, speaks about how sales for 4k and UHD televisions is on the rise as the Superbowl weekend arrives while standing in front of a Samsung 85" 4K Ultra HD LED television that sells for $9999.98.

Will Skiles pointed out all the bells and whistles that Best Buy has to offer its TV customers Friday afternoon, a mere 48 hours before Sunday's big dance.

The New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks will play in the 49th Super Bowl on Sunday, and American consumers are taking advantage of the occasion to take home a little hardware of their own.

The National Retail Federation predicts that nearly 9 percent of 184 million Super Bowl watchers will use the sports holiday as an excuse to purchase a new TV, especially as ultra-crisp, 4K TV options have dramatically dropped in price since last year's Super Bowl.

Overall, the retail group predicts Americans will spend around $14.3 billion on food, parties and things like TVs. The average Super Bowl shopper will spend about $78, or $10 more than a year ago.

The 9 percent who opt for a new TV have ample opportunities to take home brand-new, 4,000-pixel TVs, thanks to dramatic decreases in TV prices. New 4K models are, on average, 50 percent cheaper than this time last year. And Best Buy has more than doubled its 4K TV offerings since last year's Super Bowl.

Skiles can't say enough good things about 4K. It's crisper than ever and cheaper than ever -- especially this time of year, on the heels of the holiday shopping season and on the brink of the largest television event of the year in America.

"There you go," he said Friday afternoon, a customer passing by with a new TV. "There goes one right there. A 65-inch, 4K TV going out the door."

Skiles is a sales consultant with Magnolia Home Theater, Best Buy's in-house audio/visual specialists. He said "this is definitely a huge week, leading up to the Super Bowl."

"This week, people are definitely coming to take advantage of the sales going on," he said, adding that "some people wait until this time of year because they're thinking tax refund."

The Super Bowl also has a strong impact on TV networks, with NBC getting the nod to broadcast the game this year. And that means Chattanooga's local NBC affiliate, WRCB, gets a little piece of the pie.

"There's no other one-day event that's like it for advertising," said Tom Tolar, WRCB station manager. "The closest thing to it is the two-week period of time during the Olympics."

He said revenue during the Olympics is greater overall, partly because it's a longer time period. But for one-time spots, premium pricing is more dramatic during the Super Bowl because it's a one-night event. Tolar said during the Superbow advertising rates are 25 to 30 times more expensive than during any normal primetime broadcast.

"This one day would probably represent close to 1 percent of the annual sales for local, regional and national business on our station," he said. "From a percentage standpoint, 1 percent doesn't sound like that much, but it really is for an eight-hour time period."

Super Bowl rates start around 1 p.m., with pre-game programming. Premium rates extend through the airing of "The Blacklist" after the game.

"Based on per-1,000 viewers, it's still a very efficient buy," said Tolar.

The real losers this Super Bowl, though, are chickens.

According to the National Chicken Council, American will eat 1.25 billion chicken wings up to, during and after the game.

The poultry market watch group says that the Super Bowl is the second-largest eating holiday after Thanksgiving, and that if all the wings eaten during the Super Bowl were lined up end-to-end, the chain would stretch back and forth from Seattle to Boston nearly 28 times.

Seth Champion, owner and founder of Champy's Famous Fried Chicken, said the Super Bowl is "absolutely" the biggest wing day of the year.

"We sell tons of wings," he said. "This is most definitely the number one time for wings every year."

He said the demand causes wing prices to go up this time of year.

"A chicken's only got two wings," he said. "The prices really, really jump."

Champy's sees about a 15 percent increase in catering orders around Super Bowl time.

Champion said customers looking for wings on the big day may want to give a 24-hour notice for large orders, but the day of the game, he expects Champy's to have more than enough in stock.

He also said customers looking for boneless wings will have better luck looking elsewhere.

"I know that they sell boneless wings in the world, but I've never seen a wing without a bone," he said.

Contact Alex Green at agreen@timesfreepress.com or at 757-6480.

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