Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers' preseason home opener is a TV blackout

TAMPA — Affordable ticket prices, the NFL's 85 percent seat exemption, yearly payment plans, half-season ticket plans — the Bucs have tried it all this year trying to generate sales and avoid those annoying local television blackouts.

The fans have spoken.

They prefer to listen to it live on radio.

At least that's true for Friday's preseason home opener against the Tennessee Titans at Raymond James Stadium.

Because the team failed to sell 85 percent of its general seats at least 72 hours before kickoff, the game is subject to the NFL's local television blackout within a 75-mile radius of the home market, the Bucs confirmed Tuesday.

The game will air locally on tape delay at 11:30 p.m. on Ch. 10. The game also will air Saturday at noon. Ken Tonning, Ch. 10's general manager, said the station was aware of the possibility that home games might not be broadcast live.

"The same thing happened last year and it has worked out fine," Tonning said. "The advertisers are satisfied with the broadcasts."

Tuesday's announcement that the game will be televised only on tape delay is more evidence that the Bucs are still struggling to sell tickets amid a down economy that is compounded by the team's 4-12 record in 2011.

The Bucs have had 13 of their past 15 regular-season games at RJS blacked out dating to 2010.

Tampa Bay is one of three teams to take advantage of the NFL's optional softened blackout restrictions, allowing blackouts to be lifted if 85 percent of non-premium seats — about 44,000 in this case — are sold at least 72 hours before kickoff.

On Monday, the team debuted two "half-season" ticket plans that will allow fans more flexibility. The Red Plan includes games against the Titans (preseason), Panthers, Redskins, Saints and Chargers. The Pewter Plan offers games against the Patriots (preseason), Chiefs, Falcons, Eagles and Rams.

Tampa Bay's other preseason home game, against New England, is Aug. 24.

The regular-season opener is against the Carolina Panthers on Sept. 9 at RJS.

"We want to give our fans every opportunity to watch as many games as they can this year," Bucs co-chairman Bryan Glazer said recently. "But I cannot stand here today and predict how many there will be (on television). But we're hopeful there will be more games on television than last year."

Times staff writer Stephen F. Holder contributed to this report.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers' preseason home opener is a TV blackout 08/14/12 [Last modified: Tuesday, August 14, 2012 10:02pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Blake Snell shines as Rays beat Mariners to end skid (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Blake Snell delivered the best outing of his young career and the Rays offense continued its home run-hitting ways for a 3-0 victory Sunday against the Mariners in front of 13,354 at Tropicana Field.

    Tampa Bay Rays third baseman Evan Longoria (3) with starting pitcher Blake Snell (4) after the top of the seventh inning of the game between the Seattle Mariners and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, Aug. 20, 2017.
  2. Bucs' Demar Dotson should be back from injury next week


    The Bucs got good news on starting right tackle Demar Dotson, whose MRI showed only a mild right groin sprain and should be back at practice next week.

    Bucs tackle Demar Dotson, shown last year when he signed a three-year contract extension, should only miss a week of practice with his groin injury and can return healthy for the Bucs' season opener at Miami in three weeks. [Octavio Jones | Times]
  3. Rowdies settle for draw at home


    ST. PETERSBURG — The good news for the Rowdies is that they still haven't lost a game at Al Lang Stadium since late April. The bad news is they had to settle for a 1-1 tie against Ottawa on Saturday night in front of 6,710 sweaty fans.

  4. Bats come to life, but Rays' freefall continues (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG —The six runs seemed like a ton, just the second time the Rays had scored that many in a game during their numbing two-plus-weeks stretch of offensive impotency, and amazingly, the first time at the Trop in nearly two months.

    Lucas Duda connects for a two-run home run in the sixth, getting the Rays within 7-5. A Logan Morrison home run in the ninth made it 7-6, but Tampa Bay couldn’t complete the comeback.