World Cup fuels Thai TV sales

Sales of flat-panel televisions across Southeast Asia rose sharply in May as demand soared in the football-crazy region ahead of the World Cup, a report said Thursday.

Nearly 957,000 units were sold across Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, and Vietnam, a 15% jump compared to the average sales volume in February-April, global market research firm GfK said.

TV sales in Thailand showed the sharpest increase, followed by Vietnam and Singapore, according to GfK.

"It is interesting to highlight that this trend of higher demand for TVs in the month leading to the World Cup was also observed four years ago," said Gerard Tan, account director for digital world at GfK. "Events such as the World Cup has created more awareness for larger screen sizes and more advanced-models, which will help drive the market in 2014."

Although no country in Southeast Asia has qualified for the World Cup, football has a strong following in most of the region of more than 600 million people.

The World Cup, which is held every four years, began in Brazil on June 12, with the final to be played between Germany and Argentina on July 13.

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