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Hoping to lift TV blackout, Bucs still well short for Falcons game

The Bucs are one of the NFL's hottest teams, winning four straight and five of six. But will that translate into a packed house against the NFC-South leading Falcons on Sunday?

The team announced today that it still must sell 7,400 non-premium seats to reach the benchmark required to lift the local television blackout under NFL rules. The team said a total of 11,000 non-premium seats remain available.

The Bucs have had just one game televised locally this season, against the Saints. At this point two weeks ago, the Bucs needed to sell just fewer than 9,000 seats to lift a blackout against the Chargers but ultimately failed.

The Bucs have historically revealed very little about the status of ticket sales. But the departure from that habit in the past couple of weeks suggests an effort to capitalize on the team's recent success.

We'll see whether the strategy pays off on Thursday at 1 p.m., the deadline for selling the required number of seats.