A Season Of Blackouts Makes No Sense

May 16th, 2010

Joe can’t stop wondering whether or not Team Glazer will prevent television blackouts again in 2010, like they graciously did in 2009.

Joe is fascinated by the revelation that Team Glazer seemingly avoided blackouts last year by cutting checks to the league for 34 percent of the face value of a game’s unsold tickets. Neil Best, of Newsday, wrote about the blackout buyout subject last week and he gave Joe an exclusive interview about it, which then sent the story national.

So what’s the next move for Team Glazer? And why, if Team Glazer prevented blackouts last year, wouldn’t they do it again?

Joe has to think that the Bucs-Patriots “home game” in England was a factor last year. That game had to be a huge cash windfall for the Bucs, with 84,000+ in attendance paying top dollar at Wembley Stadium and the Bucs as the home team, which gets the largest share of gate revenue.

That Euro cash won’t be flowing this year, so maybe Team Glazer won’t be willing to invest in televised home games.

Joe also has to wonder whether in-stadium signage deals in Tampa have a television component in their contracts. At the very least, it would be difficult for Team Glazer to renew stadium sponsorship deals after a 2010 season of blackouts across the board.

There are so many possibilities.

Is the new Bucs $25 youth ticket there more to save money on blackout prevention than to lure families to the games?

Joe suspects Team Glazer, being the shrewd business folks they are, will allow a few blackouts to happen in 2010, yet step up to prevent others.

For one, this would allow Team Glazer’s sales team to honestly drive up Buccaneers Radio Network advertising rates while allowing Team Glazer to look like heroes on certain weeks to local sports bar owners and tens of thousands of couch-potato fans at home. (Joe would love to know how the radio ads are being pitched now compared to at this time last year.)

Maybe Team Glazer allows opening day to get blacked out to guage fan reaction, and then steps up later in the season — always at the 11th hour — to keep all other games on TV?

Again, Joe’s just not seeing why Team Glazer would make a such a bold move to prevent blacked out games in 2009, and then radically shift gears and let every game fall off TV in 2010. Joe can’t figure out any logic to that.

Of course, ticket sales figures for the Bucs fall under the One Buc Palace cone of silence, so it’s all a bunch of guesswork. And that should be advantageous to Team Glazer as the season approaches, since fans surely will, in fact, believe that management would let games stay off local televison.

Joe suspects that Team Glazer, come September, will want to call fans’ bluff on opening day just to see what happens.

Joe thinks there are loads of disgruntled fans who would rather pony up the cash on opening day than drive three or four hours round trip to watch at a sports bar.  The problem is only a real threat of a blackout is how Team Glazer will find out how many of those fans exist.

21 Responses to “A Season Of Blackouts Makes No Sense”

  1. Eric Says:

    Other unsubstantiated speculation:

    The Glazers plan on selling the team, and want the attendance figures artificially high to increase the value and sale price.

    Or, they need the figures high for the purposes of their financing.

    Or, they are just good guys and want the local fans to have a chance to see the game.

  2. YearOBucsfan Says:

    I don’t see blacked out games as a viable option. They have to invest in building back the fan base, not ostracizing most of the fans. There is too much revenue from other sources besides ticket sales, like Buc merchandise, advertising etc.. I highly doubt there will be blackouts. I actually believe the owners are committed to building a better team and building back the fan base.

  3. MichiganBucsFan Says:

    Blackouts only lead to disgruntled fans. The Glazers realize that allowing the games to air locally will lead to more jersey and Bucs gear sales from the fans watching at home and will also keep the fans loyal to the team.

  4. Dew Says:

    Joe, you have the comments turned off on the JP Peterson article. I can’t find it listed anywhere on Brighthouse in Tampa. Can you help me out as I was like to see it. Thanks.

  5. Dew Says:

    I meant would like to see it. LOL

  6. Joe Says:


    As Joe wrote in the post, it was on WTOG-44 at 11:30 a.m. today and, per the link in the post, on Channel 44’s Web site, it was also listed on their programming schedule.

    You have Out House Networks? You should know better Dew, that’s your first mistake. Be a man. Get rid of it and you will have the NFL Network.

  7. Dew Says:

    What do you recommend? I heard that if the Bucs black out games you can’t get them on sateliite either. Is that true or what. I liked Brighthouse for the local sports but they recently pulled back on the spending for that so am now thinking of moving to something else. Thanks for your time. Dew

  8. Joe Says:


    Joe has been a longtime DirecTV subscriber for some 15 years. If Bucs games are blacked out, you can’t get them on a dish locally. Outside the local coverage area, no problem.

    Joe hears good things about Verizon FIOS. Whatever you choose, outside of Out House, you will get the NFL Network which far and away makes up for anything you may lose

  9. Dew Says:

    Thanks Joe. Appreciate it. I think I will move to Verizon.

  10. Louie Says:

    Well, Joel Glazerhouse said earlier this year that fans should not be surprised if there are blackouts this year. If we are to believe EVERYTHING the Glazerhouse’s and the front office says, as the apologists would have you believe, then the Glazerhouse’s are not going to write the check to prevent blackouts this year.

  11. drdneast Says:

    Sure, move to Verizon and move more jobs overseas, Dew. Why, because you are to cheap to pay up and go see a Bucs home game. You guys are such cheap hayseeds, including you, Joe. You make me want to puke.

  12. drdneast Says:

    Be a real fan, go the the game and support your home team you hayseeds. The Browns fans have had it tough for years and you do’;t hear them whinning. Hayseeds.

  13. Joe Says:


    What are you talking about?

  14. Louie Says:

    What’s a hayseed?

  15. Radio Mushmouth Says:

    The only thing worse than empty seats , for an owner, is irrelevance in the community.

    Irrelevant is what the Bucs will become if they are never on TV.

  16. ReaderM Says:

    Not to sound like an total optimist especially in light of other things but anyone else find it nice of our Teams Owners to do what they did last year. We can complain about the Glazers for a lot of things but they prevented BlackOuts in the TB area last year and you can’t say they were doing it for PR because we wouldn’t of never have known how they did it if Best had researched in trying to find out about the Jets. I just think it just shows that the Owners are not as bad as people might make them out to be.

  17. JimBuc Says:

    I thought the Glazers were broke? What gives with paying to avoid blackouts? Shouldn’t they first pay for those two security guards they let go at OBP before they start buying empty seats?

  18. Louie Says:

    I’m betting they wrote checks to avoid blackouts due to contractural obligations. I don’t buy that they did it just to be nice to the fans. According to the apologists, the Glazerhouse’s are smart business men who don’t spend a dime more than they HAVE TO.

  19. JimBuc Says:

    Louie — what kind of contractual obligations?

  20. tampa2 Says:

    drdneast said
    “Be a real fan, go the the game and support your home team you hayseeds. The Browns fans have had it tough for years and you do’;t hear them whinning. Hayseeds”

    This hayseed supports blackouts & fans not purchasing tickets until those “carpetbagging” Glazers put a competitive team on the field, including coaches! Not all of us are so quick to drink the kool-aid as you yankees seem to be, drdneast. If you don’t like us Hayseeds, take your ass back up north. And take those tight-assed Glazers with you!

  21. Louie Says:

    @JimBuc, read Joe’s article above:

    “Joe also has to wonder whether in-stadium signage deals in Tampa have a television component in their contracts. At the very least, it would be difficult for Team Glazer to renew stadium sponsorship deals after a 2010 season of blackouts across the board.”

    Also, if Glazerhouse’s were willing to write a check to prevent blackouts last year, why not do it again this year? Remember Joel Glazerhouse said earlier this year that fans should expect blackouts this year.