The team had until 72 hours before kickoff -- 4:15 p.m. ET Thursday -- to sell out the game against the NFC South rival Atlanta Falcons at Raymond James Stadium and avoid the blackout, according to NFL rules.
Despite becoming more competitive under third-year coach Raheem Morris, who led Tampa Bay to 10 wins last season, the Bucs have seen their fan support plummet. They were the only NFL team to have all eight home games blacked out on local TV in 2010.
Before last season, the team enjoyed a sellout streak at Raymond James Stadium that dated back to 1998.
Stadium capacity is about 65,000.