TV Sales Expected To Tumble 18% In 2009

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Worldwide sales of TV sets are expected to decline 18% in 2009 to $88 billion, with the LCD flat-panel segment hardest hit by a pull back in consumer spending, according to a revised forecast from research firm DisplaySearch.

DisplaySearch projects 2009 shipments at 205.3 million units, down 1%—the first time “in recent memory” that there has been a drop in unit shipments. The total global TV forecast is 206.4 million units for 2008, up 3% from last year.

LCD TV revenues are forecast to fall 16% year-over-year in 2009, to $64 billion, which would mark the first time the category would record a decline in sales since LCD TVs were introduced in 2000. DisplaySearch cut its previous LCD TV shipment forecast for next year by 11.5 million, with the revised estimate at 119.9 million units (an increase of 17% compared with 2008).

“DisplaySearch expects that 2009 will be the most difficult year yet for the TV industry and supply chain,” the firm said in a statement. “Without revenue growth, top brands may aim to increase their market share to maintain revenue, causing challenges for lower-tier players.”

DisplaySearch, a subsidiary of NPD Group, is based in Austin, Texas.