It is not easy learning a new language in your late 40s, but by golly I've done it over the past five years.

Spanish or Chinese might have been more practical than TV Ratings-Speak, but at least it enables me to understand the annual summary YES sends me every January.

Some highlights from the news release I received today, translated into English:

Yankees games on YES in 2009 averaged 4.62 percent of New York area homes, up 9.5 percent of over 2008 and just shy of the record 4.69 in '07.

YES also was up nicely in the key demographics - i.e. young and male - that advertisers actually care about.

Its Yankees postgame show was up 7 percent and its pregame "Batting Practice Today" show was up 33 percent.

In non-Yankees news, YES' simulcast of Mike Francesa's WFAN show was up 28.6 percent over '08 to an average of 18,000 households per day, an all-time high.

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YES again declared itself the "most-watched" regional sports network in the nation for both prime time and the entire day, ahead of Boston's NESN.

The edge over NESN largely is a function of New York being a much bigger market.

NESN's Red Sox ratings easily surpass YES' Yankees games or SNY's Mets games on the basis of percentage of households tuning in.

Photo: Getty