It’s come to my attention that your very stringent television blackout rules apply to preseason games – a fact that didn’t compute with me until this week when it was reported that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers preseason matchup with the Kansas City Chiefs was going to be blacked out in our local market.
It’s a bloody preseason game, for goodness sake. Rosters aren’t set. Kinks are still being worked out. Game plans are being formulated. The team that takes the field now is not the one that will take the field the second week in September. The fact that ticket prices are at regular season levels isn’t helping either – but that’s another subject for another day.
I understand the whole Sports Is a Business thing, but c’mon. Some goodwill now with a lift of the blackout restrictions for the preseason would go a long way to help with the revenue streams during the regular season. What better time for fans to watch a team still in a formative stage – and subsequently begin to get invested for the year.
The game wouldn’t even be a broadcast network carry – it’s a local affair. Yes, I realize that it will be shown in its entirety on Sunday. After the fact. After we’ve all read about it. After we’ve discussed it. And most likely moved on to speculating about roster moves and next week’s game.
Granted, this is probably foreshadowing for what we as Bucs fans can look forward to in the regular season, now that ownership has begun to manage our expectations about covering the seat spread before the requisite 72-hour pre-game deadline. But this is preseason. When anything can happen. No harm, no foul in loosening the restrictions.
I realize that it’s too late to make a change for this season. But it’s something to consider for the future…
Regards and all that jazz,
Faithful Football Fan Janey