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Tampa Bay Buccaneers suffer fifth and final blackout of 2011 season

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TAMPA FL - DECEMBER 05:  The Tampa Bay Buccaneers celebrate a touchdown against the Atlanta Falcons during the game at Raymond James Stadium on December 5 2010 in Tampa Florida.  (Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images)
TAMPA FL - DECEMBER 05: The Tampa Bay Buccaneers celebrate a touchdown against the Atlanta Falcons during the game at Raymond James Stadium on December 5 2010 in Tampa Florida. (Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images)
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Per the Tampa Tribune, Sunday's game against the Carolina Panthers is blacked out. That has to be disappointing, although it can't be a real surprise. The Bucs will wear their throwback uniforms on Sunday and they will induct Jimmie Giles into the ring of honor for his services during the 1980s. The tight end caught 279 passes for 4,300 yards and 34 touchdowns with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and could have been a lot more productive had the Bucs' used him more effectively.

And with that, the local TV audience will miss the induction of another person into the Bucs' Hall of Fame. Last season the Bucs inducted John McKay into the Ring of Honor. That game was also not televised.

This marks the fifth home game this season to be blacked out. Week four's Monday Night game against the Indianapolis Colts was sold out after a late marketing push, while week 15's Saturday Night game against the Dallas Cowboys was announced to be sold out a few weeks ago. The Bucs also played one home game in London, which means it was not blacked out in the Tampa Bay area.

With blackouts seemingly common outside of nationally televised games, attendance has to be worrying the Buccaneers. They've already announced lower ticket prices for 2012, but it would not be a surprise to see the Bucs miss out on national TV next year - and that could mean another year of blackouts.