Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Bucs' Blackout Fallout

An exciting Bucs opener came and went without most football fans in Tampa Bay realizing what happened. The game was blacked out, even though some insiders speculated the team needed to sell just a few thousand more seats to reach the new 85% threshhold necessary to televise home games.

As I've written before, the NFL's "concessions" to fans were no real concessions at all. And on Saturday, Tampa Tribune columnist Joe Henderson echoed the sentiments, writing "If I were (the Bucs), I would have done whatever was necessary to put this game on local TV....The Bucs continue to grope in the dark, and it's tough to care about something you can't see."

Many fans apparently felt the same way, writing numerous letters to the editor criticizing the league and the team.

One fan claimed "to me, the Bucs don't exist" while another wrote "(i)f the Glazers wish to forgo the exposure of televised games by not buying the difference between 71 percent and 85 percent of the sale of non-premium seats, then they may have to deal with a shrinking fan base."

The next two weeks, fans can watch the Bucs play on the road, but unless Tampa Bay reels off consecutive wins against the Giants and the Cowboys, they're going to have an awful tough time selling Week 4 at home against the Redskins.

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