An NFL press release today stated that the 2010 season is “the most-watched in NFL history, with more than 175 million fans tuning in to at least one game, and NFL games representing the 14 most-watched shows on television this season”. (No. 15 is an episode of Dancing With the Stars.)

NFL games have always fared well on television, but this year is plain ridiculous.  The NFL has dominated the competition on TV like never before.   Five years ago, no NFL game cracked the Top 15.

An NFL game has been the most-watched show on TV every week so far this season, and NFL games top the local ratings 86 percent of the time, the highest rate the NFL has ever had through nine weeks of the season.

We hope that Owners and players take notice of what they currently have.   It’s a sign of how much the league could lose if the uncertainty surrounding its soon-to-expire collective bargaining agreement devolves into a work stoppage next season.

Hall of Famer, Cosby Sweater lover, and ESPN analyst Mike Ditka says NFL owners could find a huge backlash if they permit the game to enter a lockout after the current CBA expires in March.  “You’ve got an $8 billion business — take care of it,” Ditka says. “Make sure it doesn’t go sour. Don’t kill the golden goose.