Bucs trying to avoid blackouts

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are going to take advantage of a new NFL rule that may help reduce the number of games that are blacked out on local television.

The team just announced that it has elected to take advantage of a measure reducing the percentage of non-premium ticket sales necessary to avoid a blackout from 100 percent to 85 percent. Teams have the option of taking advantage of the option or not. If they do, they must use the 85-percent mark for all home games and can’t use it only for select games.

The Bucs have had problems drawing big crowds to Raymond James Stadium in recent years. Over the last two seasons, the Bucs have sold out only two home games.

The team has sent some signals that it has seen some improvement in season-ticket sales since the signings of free agents Vincent Jackson, Carl Nicks and Eric Wright. But electing to go this route should give the Bucs a better shot at having more of their games televised locally.