Being a Buccaneers fan wasn’t easy this season, especially if you lived in the Tampa area. I have the good fortune to be in Tallahassee, and being as though the Bucs are the only NFC team in Florida I get most of their games on television (or can make it to a bar if need be). If you live within a 75 mile radius of Raymond James Stadium though, the only way you watched the Bucs this season was if you had tickets or they were on the road.
That makes it difficult to follow your team. But despite the misconceptions of the rest of the country, Tampa IS a passionate sports city. And even if its very spread out and a little economically depressed, fans were still going to find a way to watch their beloved Bucs, even if it meant violating a little bit of copyright law and streaming the game online. Well, unfortunately that loop-hole has been closed. The very popular Sports streaming site ATDHE.net has been seized by US Authorities. Now, in addition to ATDHE, the sites Firstrow.net, Channelsurfing.net, Rojadirecta.com and Ilemi.com have also been seized. All offered streaming television content to their users (oftentimes without paying much attention to issues like legality and such).
So that means that it just got harder to watch the Bucs if you live in Tampa. Though the team has pledged to try and do something about selling more games out, chances are there will still be at least a few blackouts next year (if next year happens), so Bucs fans will be resigned to listening to our old friend Gene Deckerhoff on the radio telecasts or catching a replay afterwards.
For the record, we at Pewter Plank do not condone copyright violation or subverting the law. But we’re not going to fault a fan that wants to watch his favorite team on Sundays either. Nobody really wins here. But given the fact I know a decent portion of the fanbase relied on the internet to watch Bucs home games this past year, I figured it was worth mentioning.