The telcos have to get into the business of TV because the cable guys are already showing that they can eat their lunch with telephony now that VoIP is part of the gameplan. For years the cable folks tried to sell circuit switched telephony over cable. It was nothing different, it cost about the same and it did the same thing. So because there is so much money at stake all the big players are in the game.
Now with VoIP the MSOs are offering better and cheaper, plus bundles. So, Ma Bell has to respond with IPTV over fiber.
The key still remains content. Unless the IPTV folks go out and secure some exclusive content, or create some production facilities of their very own, you will have a few hundred channels of Hogan's Heroes, The Man From Uncle and your local TV affiliate that you can already get over the air or on basic cable.
Just like HBO helped drive the growth of cable TV, IPTV needs its own HBO. Until the telcos wake up and create that (or until Notre Dame football goes all IPTV) they will just be another Me Too, not Me Different offering with a better picture.