The Miami Dolphins have announced that this Sunday's game against the Jacksonville Jaguars will be televised in the local market. The Dolphins are required to sell 85% of their non-premium seats before the 72 hour out mark, or 1pm Eastern Thursday, in order to avoid a television blackout.
In order to meet that requirement, the Dolphins, for the sixth time this year, purchased the remaining tickets themselves. Counting this Sunday's game, the Dolphins have hosted seven game this year, with the team and local sponsors having to buy tickets for six of those. The only true sellout of the year was in Week 13, when the Dolphins welcomed the AFC East Division Champion New England Patriots to Sun Life Stadium.
Miami is not the only market flirting with blackouts this season. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have had several games blacked out this season. The Chargers have as well, including this week's contest against the Carolina Panthers. Other teams that have seen blackouts this season include the Cincinnati Bengals and the Oakland Raiders. The Buffalo Bills avoided a blackout last week after a local area restaurant bought the remaining tickets.
The Dolphins have not had a game blacked out since 2000, when a home playoff game did not meet the 72-hour deadline. The team's last regular season blackout was in 1998.
Owner Stephen Ross has bought thousands of tickets the past two seasons to ensure the Dolphins remain on local television, despite their struggles. Miami is guaranteed of their fourth straight non-winning season this year, the first time that has happened to the franchise since the team's first four seasons in 1966-1969.
The Dolphins will likely have to buy tickets again next week, with the Dolphins hosting the Bills in their final home game of the year. Miami finishes the year on the road visiting the Patriots.