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Patriots Help Chargers Avoid TV Blackout

Despite worries earlier in the week, the New England Patriots' matchup with the San Diego Chargers will be shown in the San Diego area.

Earlier in the week, the Chargers were 1,000 tickets short of meeting the NFL requirements to show the game on local television. According to Friday's Boston Herald, a social media push by both teams on Wednesday helped the Chargers meet their goal.

"On Wednesday, the Chargers tweeted a ticket update with the following message: "1,000 general tickets must be sold by 1:15 p.m. Thursday to lift blackout. Tix available online at Chargers.com." Not long after, the Pats tweeted: "Hey Patriots fans on the West Coast, if you want to see the Pats play the Chargers, go to Chargers.com to buy tickets."

Within hours the tickets were gone and the Patriots estimated that half were bought by Left Coast New England fans."

The Chargers have already had two games blacked out this season; their Week 2 matchup against the Jacksonville Jaguars and their Week 4 matchup against the Arizona Cardinals. San Diego has the eighth-highest ticket prices in the NFL, and SignOn San Diego laments that that is causing limping ticket sales:

"With an average ticket of $81.39 (as calculated by Team Marketing Report), the Chargers maintain the eighth-highest prices among the 32 NFL teams in a stadium short on modern amenities. And though those prices are unchanged since 2008, San Diego County’s 10.6% unemployment amplifies affordability issues."

The NFL requires that games must be sold out 72 hours to game time in order to be shown on television within a 75-mile radius of the stadium. This is regardless of the size of the stadium. The only exceptions are premium seats and unused tickets originally allocated to the visiting team. The NFL is always allowed to waive that 72 hour stipulation, and have changed the deadline to 24 or 48 hours if the teams can plea their case.

New Englanders are not often affected by this rule, which, in its current state, has been in effect since 1973. According to the Patriots' official Twitter account, the last time a New England Patriots home game was blacked out was a pre-Kraft ownership December 26, 1993 game against the Indianapolis Colts.