I am still remaining optimistic that both sides will work together in order to avoid a work stoppage or lockout. Everyone remembers how much damage the last work stoppage caused and how difficult it was to get the fans back. Especially the new markets, where there are no diehard fans, if there are no games then those fans will simply find another activity to fill their free time.
The league also took a big hit in the area of television deals the last time there was a work stoppage. They lost ESPN, if they lose NBC now, then they might have a difficult time finding a deal for US television exposure.
Still, I am growing concerned that both sides seem to be unwilling to negotiate. I hope this is just a result of both sides playing "chicken" and that they will get serious once the deadline gets closer.