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ESPN, sponsors buy 8,500 tickets to help Chargers lift blackout of MNF game against Colts

The San Diego Chargers have been spared the embarrassment of a local TV blackout of Monday night's game against the Indianapolis Colts after ESPN and some local sponsors guaranteed the purchase of approximately 8,500 tickets.

ESPN says it will give a portion of the tickets to military and charitable organizations.

The Chargers had received a 24-hour extension from the NFL before announcing Saturday that a sellout was guaranteed.

Among the companies helping buy tickets were two restaurants in which Chargers President Dean Spanos owns stock.

A similar arrangement was necessary last year to avoid a blackout of a game against Kansas City shown on the NFL Network.

The Chargers had four blackouts last year, when they finished 7-9 and missed the playoffs for the third straight season.