Updated: 6:15 p.m.
The Bengals announced today that Sunday's regular season opening game against the Denver Broncos at Paul Brown Stadium will not be blacked out and will air live in Cincinnati on CBS affiliate Local12 at 1 p.m.
In spite of the blackout being lifted, there are seats remaining for the game. They can be purchased by phone through the Bengals Ticket Hotline at 513-621-8383 (TDTD) until 5 p.m. today or between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Saturday. Additionally, tickets may be ordered at any time today or Saturday through ticketmaster.com. Also, tickets may be purchased in person at the Bengals ticket office at Paul Brown Stadium until 5 p.m. today, between 9 a.m. and noon Saturday and on game day beginning at 9 a.m.
Bengals left tackle Andrew Whitworth saluted the move.
"That's awesome," he said when told the news. "It's going to be great playing in a full house, but we also know people can't get to the stadium for whatever reason and the fact that everyone in the area can see it is great. We want as many people to be a part of this as possible."
The Bengals, Local 12 (CBS affiliate WKRC-TV in Cincinnati) and Kroger worked together to ensure the blackout would be lifted. Additionally, the Club distributed more than 1000 tickets to local military and charities for the game. In addition to WKRC-TV (Local 12) in Cincinnati, the game now is cleared to be broadcast live on the other two CBS affiliates in the Bengals home market -- WHIO-TV (Channel 7) in Dayton and WKYT-TV (Channel 27) in Lexington, Ky.
"We are happy to go the extra mile and allow all fans in our home region to watch on Sunday," said Bengals executive vice president Katie Blackburn. "We are also excited about the prospect of having a full house here cheering as our team takes the field."
Earlier in the week, the Club announced a partnership with the local United Way, with the Bengals donating $10 for every ticket sold this week. The Club estimates that this partnership will generate more than $20,000 for the United Way.
Joyce Elkus, founder of the Armed Forces Ticket Association, has been spending the last 24 hours distributing 550 tickets to service men and women, a job she says is particularly gratifying when it is Bengals seats. She just got back from Dayton, Ohio where she gave tickets to a soldier recently back from Afghanistan
"We have over 40 events and groups that we get tickets for and the Bengals are a popular item," said Elkus, whose web site is afta-cincinnati.org. "We've got Reds, the symphony, the opera, and several others. When you give somebody a ticket to a game like this, it's like you've given them an around-the-world vacation.
"The thing is that most of these people only make about $1,000 a month and they just can't afford going to a game like that."
The lifting of the blackout means that the Bengals will extend to 45 their franchise-record streak of consecutive sellouts for regular and postseason games. The streak is now sure to reach at least 46, as the season's second home game -- Sept. 27 vs. Pittsburgh -- had previously been declared a sellout.