Lovie Loving No Blackouts

August 12th, 2014
Bucs coach Lovie Smith applauded the news of a 2014 season free of home TV blackouts.

Lovie Smith applauded the news of a 2014 season free of home TV blackouts.

Not long ago during the Chucky regime, when the Bucs had more trouble selling a ticket than warm beer on a hot Sunday afternoon, fans not buying Bucs tickets was a growing trend. Empty seats at the Stadium on Dale Mabry Highway were common.

The Tampa Bay blackout era began during the Raheem Morris days and, in retrospect, that was a blessing for Bucs fans.

For reasons Joe didn’t completely understand, Bucs fans howled in protest when the NFL enforced its decades-long TV blackout policy. The blacked out games were available free for three days beginning at midnight after the game via GameRewind, and were available at midnight with NFL Sunday Ticket.

It wasn’t like the NFL forbade people to watch games or even attend games.

(If blackouts were so harmful to the NFL shield, as some Bucs fans believe, then why has the NFL skyrocketed in popularity in the past few years?)

Since, the NFL has relaxed its blackout policy, which enables more games to be televised locally. So yesterday, when the Bucs announced there will be no blackouts this season due to the projected ticket sales reaching the 85 percent sales threshold of non-priority seating for all games, Bucs fans throughout the area rejoiced, sans some season ticket holders.

When asked about the lifting of the blackouts for the season, Bucs coach Lovie Smith joined the chorus in Hallelujahs.

“It’s very gratifying,” Lovie said. “For our fans, we want, we would like for everyone to come to [a game]. Everyone can’t come to a game, [so] to be able to watch it on TV too, it’s important for us. We feel like we’re going to put a good product on the field and we want as many as possible to be able to watch. We’re excited about that and we’re excited about the home opener coming up. I know we have a few more training camp practices before we get on against the [Miami] Dolphins. It was a lot of fun having the first preseason game on the road last week too, but that’s not like home and guys are pretty excited about that.”

It’s cool that the Bucs have avoided blacked out games this season. It is never a bad thing for fans to see the team, unless the Raheem era is revisited. Therein lies the problem: The NFL seems to be fighting a losing battle. More and more people enjoy the at-home experience to the in-game experience. The way Jags owner Shad Khan has renovated the Gator Bowl is one way to bring fans to the game.

Hopefully, when the Stadium on Dale Mabry Highway gets its upgrades, which are contractually required by the voter-approved referendum to finance the Bucs’ crib, it will go a long way to luring fans back to the games.

7 Responses to “Lovie Loving No Blackouts”

  1. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Says:

    All Tampa Fans need to turn out for the Carolina game, and we all need to be as loud as hell. Tampa needs to beat the Panthers, and establish a culture of winning at home.

  2. Snook Says:

    Speaking of… what is the status of those “upgrades”?

  3. Buccfan37 Says:

    The Bucs badly need to win the season opener, intensified by a division foe and home crowd. No holds barred, no excuses, give it all you got, a Bucs win is all that is acceptable.

  4. Joe Says:

    Speaking of… what is the status of those “upgrades”?

    Asked the Bucs about this last week. Really no “status,” but they will happen. Hope that helps.

  5. unbelievable Says:

    Why would Joe not understand fans being upset about blackouts?

    The poor economy is a huge reason why people don’t buy tickets. If money is the issue, these same fans prob don’t pay for the extra bloated Cable Package to include nfl network. Pretty simple.

    I no longer live in the area, but am happy as hell that the games won’t be blacked out locally for the fans. Blackouts don’t help a struggling franchise, they make it worse.

  6. zam Says:

    Tampa Bay fans are bright enough to realize that watching games in person is an 20th-century activity.

    Kudos to the Glazers for not enforcing it. Remember, they are playing in a publicly-created stadium, running a monopoly. It’s not like we ever had a choice who owns our area’s football franchise.

  7. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    “The Tampa Bay blackout era began during the Raheem Morris days…” – Joe

    Joe, I could swear there were blackouts during Gruden’s last year.