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Friday, December 20, 2013
Updated: December 22, 2:40 AM ET
Bengals avoid television blackout

By Coley Harvey
ESPN.com

CINCINNATI -- For the second time this season, the Cincinnati Bengals took advantage of a one-day extension from the NFL and were able to avoid a home television blackout.

Just like the previous six games at Paul Brown Stadium this season, Sunday's contest between the Bengals (9-5) and Minnesota Vikings (4-9-1) will be a sellout and will get televised locally. According to the Bengals, seats still remain for the 1 p.m. ET contest, but enough were claimed by Friday's deadline at 4 p.m. ET for the league to exempt the game from blackout status.

On Thursday afternoon, approximately 3,500 tickets remained for a game that carries significant postseason implications. With a win, the Bengals would clinch the AFC North and jump back into the race for the No. 2 seed in the AFC. A win could also keep them exactly where they are now: looking for that division championship and desperate for a playoff bid with one game to go.

The AFC playoff scenarios are contingent upon Sunday's results from the New England Patriots, Miami Dolphins and Baltimore Ravens.

The only other time the Bengals were at risk of having a blackout was Oct. 27, when they were able to sell out their game against the New York Jets after receiving a one-day extension from the league. If Sunday's game had been blacked out, it would have been the second such contest for the Bengals this season. On Dec. 1, they were part of a game that was blacked out in Southern California after the San Diego Chargers weren't able to sell enough tickets. Cincinnati won 17-10.

On Wednesday, with the sellout in doubt, Bengals offensive lineman Andrew Whitworth noted how the team was still looking to sell tickets despite being in the thick of a December playoff push.

"It's like I've said over my eight years here, it's always been interesting at times as far as that stuff goes," Whitworth said. "All we can do is continue to put a winner on the field and try to prove who we are, and people will come and support us more and more, and hopefully that continues to grow."