Despite a disappointing 0-2 start, the Raiders have sold enough tickets to lift the local television blackout: The team has announced that Sunday’s home game against the Steelers will be shown on local TV in the Bay Area.
That doesn’t necessarily mean the game is sold out: The Raiders have taken advantage of the new NFL rule that allows them to appear on local television while only 85 percent of their tickets have been sold. The Raiders said “we expect a very full house” but did not officially say the game has sold out.
Sunday’s game will be the Raiders’ 10th consecutive regular-season home game to be shown on local television. But selling enough tickets to lift the blackouts may get harder if the Raiders keep losing.
Sunday’s game against the Steelers is a relatively easy one to sell out because it’s still early in the season and because the Steelers always have a healthy number of fans who travel to see their teams in road games. But before the Raiders’ next home game, on October 23 against the Jaguars, they have road games against the Broncos and Falcons, and their bye week.
It’s entirely possible that the Raiders will be 0-5 before they play at home again, and entirely possible that the Jaguars will be 0-5 heading into that game, too. That’s not a recipe for sellout. Or a game the fans would even want to watch on TV.