NFL Blackout Rules: Jaguars And Buccaneers In Danger Of Losing Local TV Coverage

Quarterback Blaine Gabbert #11 of the Jacksonville Jaguars scrambles for yardage during a game against the St. Louis Rams at EverBank Field in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)

An outline of the NFL blackout rules and how two teams - Tampa Bay and Jacksonville - are affected in Week 1

If you are a fan of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers or the Jacksonville Jaguars who lives in one of the local markets of those teams, you are about to have a bad week. If you fall into one of those two categories and you have the financial means to buy tickets to their games, we suggest you do so promptly. Thanks to NFL blackout rules, those two teams' home openers are in imminent danger of not being on television.

The NFL blackout rules state that a broadcaster who broadcasts within 75 miles of an NFL team my only broadcast that team's game if the game is sold out 72 hours or more before kickoff of the game. Teams can request time extensions if they feel they will be able to sell out the game. Teams can close sections of the stadium to avoid a blackout - something the Jaguars did last season - but those sections cannot be opened up for the rest of the season if a team chooses to do so.

In the case of the Jaguars, this has been a problem in the past and will probably continue to be a problem until the team is either moved or really, really good. This is a relatively new problem for Tampa, who have had a run of mediocre seasons after being a regular playoff contender for an extended period of time. Things are looking up a bit for the Bucs, but the Glazer family is struggling to get over the public perception that they are unnecessarily stingy.

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