Led by improved ratings for its New York Yankees telecasts, the YES Network was the most-watched regional sports network in the country through the first three quarters of 2009.
Officials at the RSN said it's on pace to be the most-watched such service in the country for the seventh straight year.
Over the first nine months of 2009, YES averaged 101,000 households in primetime, ahead of 94,000 for NESN, according to Nielsen data. YES also topped ESPN in the New York DMA by 26,000 households, said network officials.
Gauged on a total-day basis, YES also was ranked first for the period with 39,000 households on average, 9,000 more than NESN.
Relative to its primary telecasts, YES's telecasts of the Bronx Bombers averaged a 4.62 rating in the New York DMA, a 9.5% increase over its Yankees telecasts in the 2008 season. The 2009 performance trailed only YES's 4.69 mark with the club in 2007.
The Yankees won the American League title this year, after missing the playoffs in 2008, ending a 13-year post-season run.
YES also saw year-over-year growth in such key demos, as men 18 to 34 (6%), men 18 to 49 (14%), men 21 to 49 (13%), adults 18 to 49 (13%) and adults 25 to 54 (13%).
YES' primetime Yankees telecasts ranked first in the New York DMA on 42 of 45 straight game nights in demos such as Men 18+, men 18 to 49, men 25 to 54, adults 18 to 49 and adults 25 to 54.
YES's Yankees post-game show ratings jumped 7% year-over-year, while its Yankees Batting Practice Today show ratings increased by 33% from the 2008 campaign.
The Yankees open the Division Series against the Wild Card winner Minnesota Twins at 6 p.m. on TBS.