The Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, one of the few black conferences playing NCAA Division I basketball in the country, will for the first time in its 14-year existence play before a national television audience through a cable network, it was announced here today.

The announcement that MEAC games will be carried by the ESPN network on a delayed basis was made today at a press conference attended by the league's men's and women's basketball coaches and representatives of Philadelphia Mayor Wilson Goode.

"The league is definitely growing," said Delaware State head coach Joe Dean Davidson, who coached Dunbar (D.C.) High School to a 240-40 record in 10 years before departing in 1982. "Television is the best form of media exposure and it will benefit the league without any doubt."

Also for the first time, the seven-team league will hold its tournament at the Palestra in Philadelephia. The last nine years the MEAC has held its tournament in Greensboro, N.C.

"The move to Philadelphia is probably the greatest thing that has happened to the MEAC since I've been in the league," said Howard Coach A.B. Williamson, who led the Bison to a 7-3 league record last season. "The city is a basketball town and the media exposure should be great.

Howard will be the only team without a local cable company broadcasting its games because the District of Columbia has not been cleared for cable operations. Howard games will be available in parts of suburban Virginia and Maryland.