I get that the carriers don’t like being in “a race to the bottom”, and no one wants their bread-n-butter business to become completely commoditized and irrelevant. Carriers-as-distributors, maybe learning from record companies, broadcast tv, and newspapers, that the distribution layer is susceptible to disruption.
What’s in it for the carriers is *the* question, because the whole thing is about their interest.
I agree that they don’t want to be in a commodity business, and that they see influence over distribution as a business opportunity. One thing they might do is charge both ends of the pipe, which would be pure upside. Another thing they might do is set ruinous rates or speeds for competitors to their own content. That would allow them to do tv-over-internet in a way that resurrected the cable tv business almost unchanged.
But then again, the whole thing is crazy. They’re in the internet business. If they don’t like it, get out. They knew the rules when they got in and chose to make the investment. Why go kamikaze against the internet? My guess is that business executives in the content groups at companies like Comcast really don’t understand what the internet is. They’re spreadsheet people with experience in the TV industry, not engineers from the computer business.