Bruce Arians' first game on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' sideline will now be available to a nationwide audience.
On Tuesday, NFL Network announced that it would carry live broadcasts of 13 NFL preseason games in August, including three in the opening weekend. One of those three will be the Buccaneers visit to Heinz Field to play the Pittsburgh Steelers on Friday, August 9. That is Tampa Bay's first game of 2019, which means it will be its first live action under the guidance of Arians, the team's new head coach.
The Buccaneers-Steelers matchup will still be shown live in the Bay area by Tampa Bay's preseason partner, WFLA, News Channel 8. However, the NFLN simulcast will give out-of-market Buccaneer fans the same opportunity to catch the team's debut under Arians. The August 9 contest is set to kick off at 7:30 p.m. ET.
Buccaneer fans can also get a sneak peek at the team's Week One opponent in the regular season, as NFLN will carry a live broadcast of the Dallas Cowboys-San Francisco 49ers game on Saturday, August 10, with kickoff at 9:00 p.m. ET. None of the Buccaneers' NFC South rivals will have a preseason outing simulcast on NFLN, but several other teams on Tampa Bay's regular-season schedule are included in the 13-game slate, including the New York Giants, Los Angeles Rams, Seattle Seahawks, Arizona Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts and Houston Texans. Click here for the full schedule of games on the list.
The Buccaneers' August opener will mark just the second time the team will play a preseason game in Pittsburgh. Though both teams will carry 90-man rosters into the contest, there will still be a bevy of big-name players seeing early action on both sides, including Jameis Winston, Mike Evans, Ben Roethlisberger and JuJu Smith-Schuster. A number of rookies and newcomers could also make their Buccaneer debuts, including first-round pick Devin White and free agent acquisition Ndamukong Suh.