The Washington Times - May 20, 2009, 08:58AM

Normally, the business of sports is normally the purview of my colleague Tim Lemke, whose blog you can check out here.

But he’s indisposed at this point, what with an infant that arrived in the last week or so.


So that means a mention of ESPNU’s deal to snag a place on one of DirecTV’s cheaper tiers is worthwhile here. For four years now, I’ve called the station ESPNU(navailable) because often the best way for fans to to see anything on the network was to go to a bar or pay for the priciest of cable packages.

Comcast also struck a deal to include ESPNU in its cable packages. So all the sudden, a network that had some interesting things going for it will have a substantially larger audience. As in, almost twice as large.

So that’s good for Maryland football fans, whose team has played at least one game on the U in each of the last four seasons (and even better for Virginia, which landed on the U seemingly every week last season).

It’s good for ACC basketball fans, who can now eyeball that extra game or two each week that the U has carried.

And, at this time of year, it’s great for lacrosse fans who suddenly will have about 40 games each spring to see. Considering how many games were televised, say, 15 years ago, that’s an uptick.

So in short: The complaining about ESPNU’s availability might not be over (46 million homes still leaves some folks out who do not possess my aversion to playing for television), but it will be substantially tamer as a result of yesterday’s maneuvering.

—- Patrick Stevens