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Bengals at Chargers will be NFL's first blackout of 2013

Not enough Chargers fans were interested to left a blackout of the Bengals' return. (Jeff Gross/Getty Images) Chargers fans did not buy enough tickets to lift a blackout of the Bengals' Week 13 return. (Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

The Chargers' upset win over the Chiefs last week didn't put a big enough charge into their fan base to prevent the NFL's first television blackout of the 2013 season. The Chargers announced Thursday their Sunday game against the Bengals did not sell out Qualcomm Stadium.

The NFL's blackout policy requires a team must sell out a game within 72 hours of kickoff in order to be shown on local television. The Chargers did not attempt a few remedies at their disposal. The team did not request a 24-hour extension and neither the Chargers nor corporate sponsors including CBS were willing to buy up the remaining 5,300-plus unsold seats for 34 cents on the dollar. As a result, the CBS game broadcast will not be available in Southern California.

ESPN avoided an earlier blackout of its Colts-Chargers game in San Diego in October.

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The Bengals have a history of not drawing well in San Diego. The Bengals-Chargers game in Week 13 of the 2012 season was also blacked out.

The last NFL game to be blacked out in a local market occurred in Week 17 of 2012 when the Bills ended their season against the Jets at Ralph Wilson Stadium.
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