The Steelers-Bucs game will be blacked out Sunday within a 75-mile radius of Raymond James Stadium, the Bucs announced Thursday. Ch. 10 will instead air Colts-Broncos at 4:15 p.m. Ch. 13 will show Falcons-Saints at 1.
Thousands of tickets remained unsold by Thursday's 1 p.m. deadline (72 hours before kickoff) by which a game must be sold out to air on local TV. Teams can ask for a 24-hour extension, but there was no need, the Bucs said. "Based on the pace of ticket sales, we weren't going to achieve a sellout in time, even with an extension," spokesman Jonathan Grella said.
The Bucs' season opener, Sept. 12 against the Browns, and two home preseason games also were blacked out. Prior to this season, they had not had a regular-season blackout since 1997.