Sony Looks to World Cup for Hope for a Dying Device: The TV

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- The World Cup starts on Thursday, and it couldn't come soon enough to energize the sale of Sony's most famous product, the television.

Sony's (SNE) television unit could become profitable in the current quarter for the first time in more than a decade. That's very good news for a company that has been struggling to juggle its many parts, consumer electronics, a film studio, a music business and financial services.

Sony sales rose 30% in the first quarter to $2.15 billion. This rise in sales was spurred in part by the popularity of the Winter Olympics, and should receive a similar bounce from the World Cup, which begins June 12 in Brazil.

The uptick in TV sales marks a notable win for Sony, especially since television sales are likely to decrease over the next four years as more consumers turn to online video streaming, according to a report by Cisco.

Sony's profits are expected to be in-line with other television makers leading into the World Cup, Sandy Mehta, Principal and CIO of the Hong Kong-based consultancy, Value Investment Principals. "The entire TV food chain has seen an increase in preparation for the World Cup," Mehta said in a phone interview from Hong Kong. 

Samsung Electronics generated the highest sales this quarter with $9 billion increasing by 1% from a year earlier. The rest of the top five include LG Electronics, TCL, Sony and Hong Kong-based Skyworth Digital Holdings. Mehta disputed the notion that television sales couldn't continue to grow even with the increased popularity of streaming. 

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