No blackout for Patriots game
There's been some talk among some this week about whether the Bucs might be blacked out this weekend.
Not to worry. A team spokesman said today the game will definitely be shown locally on NFL Network with a local simulcast on Channel 38.
Ticket sales appear to be slower this year after steep increases of as much as 30 percent for some seats and the expiration of thousands of 10-year seat licenses whose owners chose not to renew their season tickets. And let's not even talk about the horrible timing of the increase, given the sluggish economy.
Regardless, games must be sold out at least 72 hours prior to kickoff for a local blackout to be lifted. What's not clear is whether the Bucs had to take any unusual action -- i.e. distributing the remaining tickets -- to ensure a sellout.
Here's the blackout policy direct from the NFL's broadcast guidelines: "To ensure an NFL club's ability to sell all of its game tickets, and to make televised games more attractive to viewers through the presence of sellout crowds, the following policy is observed by the NFL: For a home game to be aired locally in the franchised market and in any secondary blackout market(s), the game must be sold out 72 hours in advance of kickoff. If the game is not a sellout by the 72 hour cutoff, both the home franchised market and the secondary markets of the carrying network will air an alternate game."