Neither a two-game winning streak nor the chance to see wide receiver Vincent Jackson face his old team were enough to move people in Tampa to buy enough tickets to allow the team to avoid a local television blackout.
That means the game between the Buccaneers and Chargers will not be televised in the Tampa market. The writing was on the wall for Thursday’s announcement about the blackout when word broke earlier this week that the Bucs were still 9,000 tickets short of hitting the threshold needed to eliminate the possibility of a blackout.
Because the Bucs took advantage of the rule permitting teams to lower that blackout threshold to 85 percent of non-premium seats, that indicates there will be a lot of empty seats at Raymond James Stadium on Sunday afternoon. That’s par for the course for the team in the last few seasons. Just one game has been televised locally this season and only two games were televised during the 2010 and 2011 seasons.
Coach Greg Schiano talked a lot about changing the culture of the franchise when he took over as coach. The early returns have been pretty good in terms of wins and losses, but there’s clearly still work to do in terms of convincing fans to spend their money to watch those wins and losses in person.