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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Bucs-Redskins will be blacked out on local TV

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Published:   |   Updated: March 18, 2013 at 02:38 PM

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TAMPA -

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers failed to sell the number of tickets required to avoid a local television blackout for Sunday's home game against the Washington Redskins, meaning the game will not be televised in the Tampa area.

The Bucs have failed to sell out each of two regular-season home games so far this season and 15 of their past 17 at 65,908-seat Raymond James Stadium.

The two blackouts this season come in the wake of a busy offseason in which the team took several steps to draw fans back to Raymond James Stadium, which sold out just two of the seven Bucs games it hosted in 2011.

After struggling through a 4-12 season in 2011 that ended with a 10-game losing streak, Tampa Bay fired coach Raheem Morris and hired Greg Schiano, the former coach at Rutgers University who made it a goal to change the culture of the organization.

The Bucs reached out directly to the ticket-buying public, reducing the prices on 80 percent of their tickets, introducing a half-season ticket plan and incorporating a 12-month payment option for season-ticket buyers.

The Bucs also the first NFL team to adopt the league's new 85-percent rule, which allows clubs to declare a sellout and lift the local TV blackout if 85 percent of all non-premium seats are sold 72 hours before kickoff.

WTVT, Channel 13, which would have carried the game in the Tampa market, will instead show the New Orleans-Green Bay game at 4:25 p.m.

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