Click on and read this article. Back in 2006, the industry was predicting the rise of internet distribution and was preparing for its growth. That was 2 years ago, and they were already working toward moving thousands of hours of content online. "They wanted the Internet to blend directly into TV. Where the audience will watch the Internet on their TV. Just as if it was TV. And this was their "ultimate goal" two years ago."
They were preparing the content and working to keep all the revenue, according to this article, and not share its potential increased usage with the folks that created it. In fact, it seems they were willing to take a hard line stance against sharing, "By the way, from all reports during the strike, two corporations were hard-liners, refusing to allow a settlement that the others were willing to accept as fair. And so, largely because of these two corporations, the strike went on for three horrible months, devastating the economy of Los Angeles."
Without the strike, producers would have reaped the reward without sharing the spoils. Reminds me a bit of the early days of TV when syndication was just a possibility and many were not being paid for their work. Talent from these early shows could only watch as the corporate parents found new revenue streams on these titles and the talent got nothing. Certainly the Writers Guild, SAG, and the other unions don't want a repeat of that fiasco.
Lastly, was the strike necessary? 2% of distributors gross is better than nothing. "To anyone who wonders whether the strike, horrible as it was, was necessary -- the president of Warner Bros. Cable Distribution (Eric Frankel) just explained it to, you why it was. Well, okay, not "just." But he did two years ago."