Fans of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers may have endured a rough patch losing eight of the last nine games dating back to last season, but they won’t have to suffer through another season of local television blackouts.
In fact, the Bucs won’t have a blackout at all in 2013. The organization announced Thursday afternoon that all remaining games will be broadcast on local TV.
“In appreciation for the loyal support of our fans throughout the Tampa Bay area, we have committed to televise the remaining seven home games of the 2013 season,” said Buccaneers Co-Chairman Bryan Glazer in a statement on the team website.
Last season the Bucs adopted the league’s new 85-percent ticket threshold, meaning games would no longer require a sellout to be broadcast on local television. The team was still unable to broadcast all home games due to lack of sales.
The Bucs did reach the 85-percent requirement for the home opener against the New Orleans Saints two weeks ago, a game that drew a fair amount of attendance from Saints fans, but for games that don’t meet the sales requirement, the Bucs will be purchasing those tickets.
This news comes just a day after the Bucs announced that starting quarterback Josh Freeman would be benched in favor of rookie Mike Glennon, who will make his first NFL start Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals.
“I’m thrilled for our fans, that our fans will get to see us every week, at home, whether they’re there in person [or not]. That’s what we’re trying to do is create that home field advantage. We’ve got to win – I’m not naïve to that,” said head coach Greg Schiano in his Thursday afternoon press conference.
“[If] we win, that’ll come back. But it’s a tremendous commitment from the organization to our fans and to the Tampa Bay area.”