Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Bucs don't expect TV blackout, but stay tuned
TAMPA - The Tampa Bay Buccaneers expect Sunday's home game against the Carolina Panthers to be televised locally. "At this point, we don't anticipate a blackout, but we'll kind of have to update our fans here throughout the week and monitor the situation," team spokesman Jeff Kamis said. Sunday's game begins at 1 p.m. at Raymond James Stadium. To lift the NFL's mandated blackout, home games must be sold out at least 72 hours before kickoff. Teams can request a 24-hour extension for last minute ticket sales, but the Bucs said they've never had to do that. The Bucs, who are 0-5 for the first time since 1996, won't release the number of tickets sold.The last time a Bucs' home game wasn't shown on local television was a 10-6 loss to the Minnesota Vikings on Oct. 26, 1997. That game was played at Houlihan's Stadium (Tampa Stadium). In 1997, the Bucs ended a 14-season run of losing seasons. On Nov. 16, 1997, the Bucs had a sellout against the New England Patriots (a 27-7 Bucs win), beginning a string of 98 consecutive advance sellouts (including playoff games) that continued until the Sept. 27 game against the New York Giants. The Bucs have never been blacked out locally since moving into Raymond James Stadium in 1998. If the Bucs are blacked out locally, it wouldn't be a first in the league this season. The Jacksonville Jaguars, Detroit Lions and Oakland Raiders have all had blackouts. Fox will telecast the game regionally. If the game is broadcast locally, it will be on affiliate WTVT, Channel 13.