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Third Chargers Game In A Row To Be Blacked Out

For the third time in a row and fourth this season overall, the Chargers' home game Sunday against Carolina will not be televised in Southern California, the team announced today.

Runningback Ryan Mathews #24 of the San Diego Chargers runs the ball against the Denver Broncos during the NFL game at Qualcomm Stadium on October 15, 2012 in San Diego, California.
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Above: Runningback Ryan Mathews #24 of the San Diego Chargers runs the ball against the Denver Broncos during the NFL game at Qualcomm Stadium on October 15, 2012 in San Diego, California.

The Chargers said they were 11,000 tickets short of a sellout, running afoul of the National Football League's blackout policy. Teams are required to sell out all but their most expensive tickets 72 hours prior to kickoff.

Contests against Atlanta, Baltimore and Cincinnati were previously not shown on local televisions. A fourth blackout, a prime time match against Kansas City, was narrowly averted when corporate sponsors snapped up the remaining tickets.

Fan interest has waned amid a 5-8 season that has seen the Chargers blow several fourth quarter leads and fall out of AFC West title contention. It's been reported that head coach Norv Turner and general manager A.J. Smith will be fired at season's end, but team president Dean Spanos said that was "pure speculation.''

The season-finale against Oakland is almost sold out, the Chargers said. The annual appearance by the rival Raiders can generally be counted on to fill the seats at Qualcomm Stadium.

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