The good news is that Bucs games will be televised in 2012 if 85 percent of the non-premium tickets are sold at Raymond James Stadium. The bad news is that the Bucs won’t be televised unless 85 percent of the non-premium tickets are sold at Raymond James Stadium.
The folks at PewterReport.com point out that, based on last year’s ticket sales, two of the seven regular-season games played in Tampa would have been blacked out under the 85-percent minimum — and three others would have just barely met the reduced target.
Games against the Lions and Falcons generated only 77.8 percent and 71 percent capacity, respectively. Contests against the Saints, Texans, and Panthers saw 85.9 percent, 85.0 percent, and 85.4 percent of the stadium filled, respectively.
If, as it appears, those figures include premium and non-premium seating, there’s a good chance a higher percentage of non-premium seats were filled in each of those games.
Regardless, the point for now is that dropping the minimum from 100 percent to 85 percent guarantees nothing for the Bucs, and that the expectation the games will be televised locally may have to be met via the purchase by the team, local TV affiliates, and/or sponsors of the remaining tickets at 34 cents on the dollar.