District Puts Dispute With Comcast on Hold

Friday, May 26, 2006

The deadline for Comcast to begin broadcasting Nationals games or face a renegotiation of its contract with the District lapsed Wednesday night, and the team's games continued to be unavailable in the District as of yesterday.

D.C. Council member Jack Evans (D-Ward 2), who co-sponsored the legislation that was signed by Mayor Anthony A. Williams (D) on Tuesday, said yesterday the city likely won't do anything until after this weekend's Memorial Day holiday.

Comcast Executive Vice President David Cohen said yesterday that the cable company has held discussions with Major League Baseball and the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network, the Nationals' home network, but sources said the sides have not reached a resolution.

"Consistent with what Comcast has urged for many months, MLB has convened meetings with the key parties to the dispute," Cohen said in a statement. "Comcast has offered several compromises which would protect the team, its fans and our customers. We desire an expeditious resolution."

Comcast has refused to air the MASN-produced Nationals games because of an unrelated dispute with the Orioles, who own a majority share of MASN. The dispute means Comcast subscribers in the Baltimore-Washington region are unable to watch most Nationals games.

-- Thomas Heath

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