SBD/September 27, 2013/Franchises

Buccaneers Promise Fans No Blackouts, Say All Home Games Will Be Televised Locally

Just five of the Bucs' 24 home games from '10-12 were shown locally due to NFL rules
The Buccaneers on Thursday said that they will "make sure their seven remaining home games air on local television," according to Greg Auman of the TAMPA BAY TIMES. It is a "change in policy for a team that saw just five of 24 home games from 2010-12 shown locally because of NFL blackout rules designed to encourage home attendance." If fewer than 85% of "nonpremium seats -- the NFL's threshold -- are sold, the Bucs will write a check to the league to keep games in local living rooms." The Bucs said the majority of the seven remaining games at Raymond James Stadium are "projected to surpass" the blackout threshold. However, Auman notes Sunday's game against the Cardinals "is well short." Teams can "avoid blackouts by buying unsold seats," and that burden will "fall on the Bucs and not local TV stations or their sponsors." Team officials had "been encouraged about improved attendance" in '13. The home opener against the Saints on Sept. 15, carried on local TV, drew "an announced 60,870, not far from the stadium's listed capacity of 65,890" (TAMPA BAY TIMES, 9/27).

GETTING THE ALL-CLEAR: In San Diego, Tom Krasovic noted the Chargers have sold enough tickets for Sunday's game against the Cowboys "to lift the blackout" in the local market. The team has sold out both games at Qualcomm Stadium this season after having "half of their eight home games ... blacked out because not enough tickets were sold" in '12 (UTSANDIEGO.com, 9/26). PRO FOOTBALL TALK's Mike Florio noted through four weeks, "all 63 regular-season games will have been televised in the home team’s local market." The league office said that this is "only the third time the NFL has made it through four weeks of the regular-season without a single blackout" (PROFOOTBALLTALK.com, 9/26).
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