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As Tom Paciorek would say, "Whoa."

According to the Post, Comcast has agreed to carry MASN, starting September 1. Just in time for the stretch drive!

This gives me some pause, however:

"I literally have just signed the agreement," Comcast Corp. Executive Vice President David Cohen said in an interview, adding that the cable company would start airing the sports network "basically in the Washington and Baltimore markets on Sept. 1."

I live neither "basically" in Washington nor in Baltimore. I live in Richmond; I suppose I'll be out of luck. Oh well. Terms haven't been disclosed, but the only reasonable conclusion is the one presaged by Curly W: Comcast lost.

Hat-tip, as per usual, goes to District of Baseball.

Update [2006-8-4 19:28:39 by Basil]: The joint press release just popped into many, many inboxes, including mine. It says:

Washington DC (August 4, 2006) ? Comcast and MASN today announced an agreement to bring the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network (MASN) to 1.6 million customers on Comcast?s Expanded Basic cable lineup in the Washington DC Metro, Baltimore and Salisbury areas beginning in September. MASN will be made available to an additional 600,000 customers over the next two years.

?Comcast is pleased to have reached an agreement with MASN. We?ve always wanted to bring the Nationals to Comcast customers and want to thank everyone on Comcast and MASN?s team who have worked to bring baseball to our DC area customers,? said David L. Cohen, Executive Vice President, Comcast Corporation.

"This is great news for sports fans throughout the mid-Atlantic region,? said Peter Angelos, managing partner of the Orioles. ?We are pleased to have reached this agreement with Comcast, which will allow both the Nationals and the Orioles to maximize their exposure throughout the territory. We are grateful for the support we have received from public officials from Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia, whose support was critical to getting the games on television.?

Hey, if you're in DC, Bal'mer, or Salisbury, have a blast. I'll catch you in two years, I suppose---well, that or move.

At any rate, is this good news? You make the call. I suppose it is. It completely legitimizes MASN, but I suppose that was inevitable. It would have been considerate of the Powers That Be to have allowed the Nationals to negotiate their on darn television contract, but what's past is past.