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Demonstrations Bring Santiago to a Standstill; HBO Max Launches in May, Enters Streaming Wars. Aired 12-1a ET

Aired October 30, 2019 - 00:00   ET




JOHN VAUSE, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Hello and welcome to our viewers in the United States and around the world. I'm John Vause, live from Studio 7 at CNN World Headquarters.

Coming up on CNN NEWSROOM, Boris Johnson gets his election. In five weeks Britain will elect a new government, seen as a referendum on Brexit.

He's a decorated war veteran and a White House staffer who was on the now infamous Ukraine phone call and after his damning testimony before Congress, Republicans and the president try to smear his reputation and question his patriotism.

And California's fire emergency is about to get a whole lot worse. With forecasts of hurricane-force winds, officials issue an extreme red flag warning.


VAUSE: And so let the election campaign began, unless there is an objection from the House of Lords, which is unlikely. British voters will go to the polls in about five weeks from now, after Boris Johnson won approval in Parliament for a snap poll.


JOHN BERCOW, SPEAKER, BRITISH HOUSE OF COMMONS: The ayes to the right 438, the nos to the left, 20, so the ayes have, it the ayes have it. Unlock. Order.


VAUSE: Boris Johnson, the prime, minister holds a commanding lead in the opinion polls over the Labour opposition and is banking on an election win to break the parliamentary gridlock over Brexit. But as CNN's Nic Robertson reports, it's a risky strategy.


NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Well, the prime minister got what wanted, an election on December 12th. He is leading in the polls across the country. The bookmakers seemed to have his government perhaps being returned with a majority, but that is very much in the balance.

It was an MP who stood up not long after the vote in Parliament and said quite clearly, I am aware that some MPs on the backbenches of both parties -- some of the more junior MPs is what she is referring to -- are a little bit uncomfortable about going for an election right now, certainly Jeremy Corbyn from the Labour Party, too late to decide that he was going to support this December election. He is seen as doing not so well in the polls at the moment, certainly not compared to Boris Johnson, a degree of reticence on his party to engage in the election that he is in, but it is both the liberal Democrats and the Scottish National Party who perhaps are going into this quite confidently.

The Scottish National Party really believe that they can cleanup and win a good handful more seats in Scotland. They have 35 right now. They would be anticipating to win more than 50. The liberal Democrats, 19 seats right now, they believe that they can make some gains. They expect to make gains against Boris Johnson's conservative party.

And, of course, for the prime minister, one of the risks is that the Brexit Party, the hardline Brexit Party may take votes from him. That would be very damaging for him and would really lay the way open for potentially another hung Parliament, where isn't a majority for any single party and that Brexit could be almost, if you will, back to square one.

The results will come in on December the 13th. It is a Friday. Undoubtedly for some, there will be some bad news that day -- Nic Robertson, CNN, London.


VAUSE: Tuesday saw another major witness testified in the U.S. impeachment inquiry. Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman is a decorated U.S. Army officer who was also born in Ukraine.

He is also the first witness to testify who was actually listening to President Trump's Ukraine phone call back in July. Details now from CNN's Sunlen Serfaty.


SUNLEN SERFATY, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Bombshell testimony on Capitol Hill.

REP. JOHN GARAMENDI (D-CA): This is a very, very important moment. This is a person that was there.

SERFATY: From Alexander Vindman, the National Security Council's top Ukraine expert telling House investigators today he was so troubled by what was happening with Ukraine, he raised concerns twice to his superiors. REP. JIM JORDAN (R-OH): We have got all kinds of opinions from several witnesses over the last few weeks. But the fundamental facts are -- are just that, fundamental.

SERFATY: But Vindman is the first witness who was actually on the now famous July 25 phone call between President Trump and the Ukrainian president, telling lawmakers today in his opening statement obtained by CNN that he was concerned by what he heard on the call.

"I did not think it was proper to demand that a foreign government investigate a U.S. citizen and I was worried about the implications for the U.S. government's support of Ukraine."


SERFATY (voice-over): Following the call, Vindman said he reported his concerns to the NSC lead counsel. Earlier that same month, Vindman attended a July 10 meeting in Washington with Ukrainian and U.S. officials, telling lawmakers that: "Ambassador Sondland started to speak about Ukraine delivering specific investigations in order to secure the meeting with the president, at which time, Ambassador Bolton cut the meeting short."

At a debriefing afterwards, Vindman testified today that he confronted the U.S. ambassador to E.U., Gordon Sondland.

"Ambassador Sondland emphasized the importance that Ukraine deliver the investigations into the 2016 election, the Bidens and Burisma. I stated to Ambassador Sondland that his statements were inappropriate."

Following that meeting, Vindman says he also reported his concerns then to NSC's lead counsel, as did Fiona Hill, the president's former top Russia adviser, who was also in the room.

But that directly contradicts what Gordon Sondland told House investigators two weeks ago during his deposition on Capitol Hill, Sondland then telling lawmakers, quote, "If Ambassador Bolton, Dr. Hill or others harbored any misgivings about the propriety of what we were doing, they never shared those misgivings with me then or later."

SERFATY: Meantime, the House committees are now trying to bring in Brian McCormack. He just recently served as the chief of staff to secretary Rick Perry in the Energy Department.

Perry, of course, has been wrapped up into all of this impeachment castigation as well, as far as his conversations about Ukraine with President Trump and Ukrainians as well --Sunlen Serfaty, CNN, on Capitol Hill.


VAUSE: Trump allies are trying to smear Vindman's reputation. "The New York Times" reporting Ukraine officials sought advice from Vindman on how to deal with Trump's personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani. Giuliani tweeted that Vindman is a U.S. government employee that has been reportedly advising two governments. And former House Republican Sean Duffy went so far as to question

Vindman's patriotism.


REP. SEAN DUFFY (R): It seems clear that he is incredibly concerned about Ukrainian defense. I don't know that he is concerned about American policy but his main mission was to make sure that the Ukraine got those weapons.


VAUSE: This comes after Donald Trump referred to his critics as human scum, including his ambassador to Ukraine, Bill Taylor, who raised the alarm that military aid was being tied to Ukrainian investigations of the Bidens.

Taylor is also a West Point graduate who served in Vietnam. Notably, some Republicans have had enough.


REP. LIZ CHENEY (R-WY): We are talking about decorated veterans who have served this nation, who have put their lives on the line and it is shameful to question their patriotism, their love of this nation and we should not be involved in that process.


VAUSE: Democrats are moving ahead with a full House vote this Thursday to formalize the impeachment inquiry. According to a summary of the resolution released on Tuesday, some of the hearings will be public, as will the Intelligence Committee report on its recommendations.

A top Republican will be able to question witnesses. Republicans can also request witnesses and issue subpoenas if the Democratic chair agrees. The president's lawyers can also participate in the Judiciary Committee proceedings. That means they can make their case, respond to evidence and raise objections.


VAUSE: For more, I'm joined now by Michael Genovese, a political analyst. He's also the author of "How Trump Governs." He's also the president of the Global Policy Institute at Loyola Marymount University.

And we're lucky to have you with us, Michael. Good to see you.


VAUSE: You know, if the Democrats were looking for a perfect witness to build a case against the president, doesn't get much better than Colonel Vindman? GENOVESE: Right out of Hollywood casting. And that's why the Republicans, especially in the White House, have been so quick to try to damn him, to question his patriotism, to question is loyalty. That's a very difficult position to take.

The president got away with it when he attacked John McCain, saying he wasn't a war hero, but how many times can you go to the well before people start saying, wait a minute, the military is the most respected institution in America? Are all these people so bad, so corrupt?

And so I think it's a function of the president losing the argument. And since he lost the argument, you have to try to distract an attack. And that's something the president is very good at. I think he's bitten off much more than you can chew on this one, though.

VAUSE: His role in the White House is senior advisor on Ukraine. So apparently, these officials had been in contact with Vindman asking the best way to deal with Rudy Giuliani, who was obviously pushing for this investigation. It seems like a fair question to ask someone who's a Ukraine annex -- Ukraine expert, I should say. Somehow the people over at Fox News saw it like this.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Here we have a U.S. national security official, who is advising Ukraine while working inside the White House, apparently against the president's interests and usually, they spoke in English. Isn't that just an interesting angle on the story?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I find that astounding and some people might call that espionage.


VAUSE: Yes. Even before he testified, though, the president had labeled Vindman a never Trumper, question his credibility, mentioned him alongside, you know, the words witch hunt. Character assassination can be very effective. But in this case, you know, when we're looking at this witness who is, as you say, straight out of central casting for an American patriot, does this actually end up doing the president more harm than good?

GENOVESE: I think it will. I think, you know, you can only go so far with the anti-American, anti-military jargon. And I think, you know, you began the questioning with, you know, why is he talking to -- why was Vindman talking to the Ukraine, but is Vindman talking to Rudy Giuliani?

Well, there are two different foreign policies going on. You had the State Department and you had Rudy. And so you can see why the Ukrainians would be confused. It would go to someone and say, what's going on here? What do I do?

But I think you see the attacks and you saw the John Yoo from FOX News. John is usually very temperate. I've debated him before. He's a smart guy. But it shows you how desperate that side is that they've just lost control.

They've lost control of the narrative. They've lost the debate. They've lost all the key arguments. The evidence is going overwhelmingly against them. They're desperate. Their backs are up to the wall. And this is how you behave when you're -- when you're been wounded and you're bleeding badly.

VAUSE: And this is moving quite quick this investigation. So if you look back at what we now have, we now have the president's public confession that he asked a foreign government to investigate his political opponent. Here's a reminder.


TRUMP: China just started investigation into the Bidens. Because what happened in China is just about as bad as what happened with Ukraine. So, I would say that President Zelensky, if it were me, I would recommend that they start an investigation into the Bidens, because nobody has any doubt that they weren't crooked. That was a crooked deal, 100 percent.


VAUSE: We had the evidence released by the White House in the form of a summary of that phone call with Ukraine's leader, which is supported by the whistleblower report. We have the confession from the White House Chief of Staff that there was in fact, quid pro quo. Is this testimony from Colonel Vindman, when he says he was concerned the president's actions were a threat to national security, is that the last crucial piece here which explains why all of this matters?

GENOVESE: Well, it may not be the last crucial piece, we may see more testimony against the president. But the drip, drip, drip is now an avalanche. And you can see it in the behavior of Nancy Pelosi. Nancy Pelosi for months and months was trying to protect or to shield her Democratic colleagues from having to make this move on impeachment because a lot of them were in swing districts. They were vulnerable. They're not vulnerable now.

In fact, the expectation is that impeachment will occur. And that frees the Democrats up, now I think they're not afraid. Whereas the Republicans, you want to get them on the record now because if you vote now against the impeachment inquiry, may not be bad now, but in November next year, if Trump goes down, that's going to be a valuable vote and the Democrats will use it against the Republicans.

And so, a month ago, the tables were turned, it was reversed. Now, Nancy Pelosi can't get enough of it.

VAUSE: I want to finish up with the vice president, a man who cannot give a straight answer to a yes or no question, especially when it comes to Ukraine. This starts with all the U.S. officials who have testified under oath about this deal if they are not telling the truth, listen to this. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are they all lying?

MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I can only tell you what I know is the transcript of the president call, there is no quid pro quo.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Does William Taylor have credibility as far as you're concerned?

PENCE: Are you referring to William Taylor's testimony before the committee --


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: -- the testimony, as far as we know.

PENCE: We can't really count on that, because all we have from the committee are leaks.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are you saying you did not ever hear of such a deal?

Is that what I understand you're describing?

PENCE: I'm telling you that all of my interactions with the president, all of my conversations with President Zelensky were entirely focused on issues of importance to the American people.


VAUSE: Pence has been dancing in the rain and not getting wet for almost three years. But if he knows more than he's saying -- and most believe that he does -- in theory, would he be facing impeachment as well?

GENOVESE: That's a tougher question because you want to go for the big fish and Mr. Pence has been a loyal servant to the president.


GENOVESE: He's backed him 100 percent and been in his corner from day one. But you saw his feeble attempt not to answer those questions. It was Orwell who said the enemy of clear language is dishonesty. That dishonesty that he's trying to avoid is really tripping him up.

He can't speak clearly, he can't answer directly because he knows how damaging it all is. If I ask you if it's a nice day and you say my shoes are untied, that's what Pence is doing. He has no effort. And you can see it. He is just embarrassing himself. No effort to answer the questions, to try and get to the bottom of this. He wants to get out of that room and get out fast.

VAUSE: It'll be interesting if he is called by Democrats to testify to see how that ends up. Michael, we're out of time, but as always, thank you so much.

GENOVESE: Thank you, John.


VAUSE: To Lebanon, protesters are celebrating what many are calling a revolution. Prime minister Saad Hariri resigned after nearly two weeks of nationwide demonstrations over government corruption and an economy in turmoil. Protesters are happy to see him. Go they promised to see him go, even for a country that is no stranger to political crises, this growing crisis is something that Lebanon cannot afford. Ben Wedeman reports.


BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SR. INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Declaring he has reached a dead end, Lebanese prime minister Saad Hariri submits the resignation of his national unity government to the president.

He was caught between nationwide mass protests and his partners in the government that, despite its name, was deeply divided, as is the country, made clear when hundreds of men, some chanting pro Hezbollah slogans, went on a rampage in Martyr's Square. The antigovernment protesters made an encampment in the capital.

They carried on to the square down the road from the prime minister, confronted by security forces who did not spare the rod. This melee was preceded by clashes between the protesters and local residents, angry at the tactic of road closures, aimed at bringing the country to a standstill.

But it is hurting hard-pressed Lebanese who live hand to mouth, already squeezed by an economy teetering on the brink of collapse.

"Whoever works for a daily wage, can't work, can't buy food," says Ali Hamid (ph), a driver. "I have not worked since this began."

By evening, the protesters were back in the squares; though fewer in number, they celebrated the fall of the government, a victory of, sorts but their demands for an end to official corruption in sectarian politics are far from being met.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The system that we've been protesting against is larger than just the government. I mean, it's the whole system, it is the whole organization of those in charge, now and that we need to bring down.

WEDEMAN (voice-over): And then what, is not clear.

WEDEMAN: The resignation of the government opens up a dangerous political vacuum in a country wracked by two weeks of protests and facing economic meltdown. Perilous days lie ahead -- Ben Wedeman, CNN, Beirut.


VAUSE: In Chile, thousands were back out on the streets of Santiago unmoved by government promises of reform.

California bracing for hurricane force winds, set to turn their fire crisis into an extreme emergency. Details in one moment.





VAUSE: A forecast of hurricane force winds is threatening to make California's wildfire crisis even worse. It is leading to an unprecedented extreme fire warning. Here is CNN's Stephanie Elam reporting from Los Angeles.


STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Ablaze for days, California is battling wildfires across the state. And officials couldn't be more clear.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): Oh, my God.

ELAM (voice-over): The worst conditions are yet to come.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are in this critical, really, 24-hour window.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The fuels are critically dry.

ELAM (voice-over): High winds up to 80 miles per hour are expected in parts of Southern California over the next 48 hours, adding more fuel to the flames.

RALPH TERRAZAS, CHIEF, LOS ANGELES FIRE DEPARTMENT: It only takes one ember to blow down wind, to start another fire.

ELAM (voice-over): It is so dangerous that for the first time ever, an extreme red flag warning has been issued in Los Angeles. Preparing for what's to come, more than 1,100 firefighters in the L.A. region alone.

GOV. GAVIN NEWSOM (D-CA): This is a challenging time. Forty-three counties in the state of California were experiencing red flag, warnings were experiencing at or near historic wind events.

ELAM (voice-over): Governor Gavin Newsom and Mayor Eric Garcetti assess the situation with teams on the ground. This as authorities in Northern California warned residents not to take any chances.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I made a stop on a gentleman who had thrown a cigarette butt on the freeway. This is no time to add to the problem. ELAM (voice-over): Since the 1970s, the portion of California burned by wildfires each year has increased by 500 percent. A new study attributed the finding to climate change including drier weather and less rain.

NEWSOM: The fact is the fires this year have been relatively modest compared to previous years.

ELAM (voice-over): Just last year, 85 people lost their lives in California after a wildfire caused by electrical lines burned the town of Paradise to the ground.

NEWSOM: We are not even close to where we need to be in the state. This is not the new normal and it doesn't take a decade to fix this damn thing.

ELAM (voice-over): Now, utility companies are once again planning to shut off power for hundreds of thousands of Californians through at least Wednesday to avoid contributing to the danger.

ELAM: And California governor Gavin Newsom saying that the electric companies have now agreed to credit Californians, millions of them, who have been living without power during these two wind events -- Stephanie Elam, CNN, Los Angeles.




VAUSE: You could help the wildfire, victims, they already unsteady right to help. If we could protest in Chile is taking a heavy toll, especially for one family.

What I want for him is justice for all the years we lived together, for everything that he was, for my sons, she finishes, because the police left them without a father.

We will have the official details on what caused her husband's death. Thanks for staying with us. Thanks for staying with us. I'm John Vause headlines this hour.

The U.K. House of Commons has voted overwhelmingly to hold a general election December 12th. Prime minister Boris Johnson hopes that this will clear the Brexit impasse. The opposition Labour Party called the election a once in ageist generation against to transform the country.

Those that were listening to the phone call has testified. Alexander Vindman is a Ukrainian expert and national security. He reported twice to the superior.

Prime minister Saad Hariri announces to bring, down amid widespread protests.

(BREAK) President Trump's July phone call has testified in the impeachment inquiry. Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman is a Ukrainian expert on the National Security Council. He says he was so concerned about the call, he reported it twice to a superior.


Uncertainty is growing in Lebanon after Prime Minister Saad Hariri announced he's stepping down amid widespread anti-government protests. With no clear successor in place, Hariri will now likely lead a caretaker government, which will be weakened in its ability to deal with the country's growing economic crisis.

In Chile, thousands of protesters were back on the streets Tuesday, unmoved by government promises of economic reforms and a reshuffled cabinet which saw eight ministers replaced. The widespread demonstrations were initially sparked by an increase in the cost of public transport, but demands have quickly grown to nothing less than economic equality.

No single leader, though, for the protestors has emerged, and that makes negotiations just a little bit complicated.

The protesters have bought Chile's capital to a standstill. Businesses have been looted. There have been violent confrontations between demonstrators and the police. Matt Rivers spoke to one family now grieving after one of those confrontations.


MATT RIVERS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Its national flag hidden by the smoke, Chile's streets are still burning. Bonfires keep being lit as hundreds of thousands of Chileans have protested over economic inequality for more than a week now.

Though the large majority of marchers are peaceful, clashes between police and some protesters have at times paralyzed the city. At least 20 people have been killed since the protests began. Alex Nunez Sandoval, a 39-year-old father of three, is one of them.

His wife, Natalia (ph), and son, Rodrigo (ph), told us Alex loved soccer and just being a dad. They live in the outskirts of Santiago. The protests sparked here, too, ten days ago. The scarred train station blocks from their house, tells the story.

(on camera): As the protest raged in that area behind me, Alex, his family says, he wasn't even taking part. Instead, he was sitting here, on one of those benches in that park behind me, watching it all unfold.

At some point, the police came. They came down this road here, and it caused a bit of a panic amongst everyone that was here. Protestors started running, and Alex did, too. He started running down this road right here, and his family says he only made it about 20 meters or so before the police caught up with him and beat him. (voice-over): After the beating, he actually walked home. You can

see in this photo, his face is mangled, but he told his wife he just needed rest. The next day, he vomited blood and couldn't wake up, so they went to the hospital.

"I know that when the doctor says, 'I need to speak with you,'" she says, "it's because things are not good. Never in my mind did I think it was this serious."

He died of massive brain trauma. The police would only say there is an ongoing internal investigation into his death, though Chile's undersecretary of the interior confirmed he died due to police actions.

Critics say police have engaged widely in brutality and lethal tactics. The government says they've simply been reacting to protestor violence, while trying to enact economic reforms the people have called for.

But still, to many in this city, people like Alex have become martyrs amidst a heavy-handed government response.

"The people will not allow the police to go unpunished," she says. "We are totally united."

This woman says, "There are a lot of people missing and killed," and that no one will forget them.

A team from the U.N. will investigate the widespread claims of human rights abuses. For Natalia (ph), she cares most about the abuse of one.

"What I want for him is justice, for all the years we lived together, for everything that he was. For my sons," she finishes, "because the police left them without a father."

Alex's funeral was on Saturday. Natalia (ph) told us she was always the one that cared more politics about him. But the man who didn't join the protests has turned into a symbol of a movement. At the train station near his house, some new graffiti has gone up. Next to calls for economic reform and presidential resignations, a new line, simply, Alex Nunez.

Matt Rivers, CNN, Santiago, Chile.


VAUSE: Protesters defied a nighttime curfew, storming Tahrir Square in Baghdad on Tuesday for a fifth straight day, angered over the reported killings of demonstrators in the holy city of Karbala a day earlier.

Amnesty International says there is evidence security forces opened fire on peaceful protesters staging a sit-in and tried to run them over with vehicles. All up, 14 people were wounded -- 40 people were killed, rather; more than 100 were hurt. Police, though, deny they were using any such force.

Iraqis have been protesting for weeks now, angry over alleged government corruption, a lack of jobs, as well as basic services.


When we come back, Apple and Disney may have thrown down the gauntlet, but Warner Media, parent company of CNN, not backing down in the streaming wars. The latest on its new service, HBO Max. That's just ahead.


VAUSE: So welcome to the dawn of the streaming wars. And the big mac daddy of them all, Netflix, about to get some fierce competition. Apple TV Plus launches on Friday. Critics have not been kind about some of its original programming. Disney Plus launches in a few weeks. And then there's Warner Media, CNN's parent company, which has just revealed that HBO Max will launch early next year, $15 a month with a penny in change.

Even with more than 10,000 hours of programming, it has a much smaller library than the competition. But Warner says its content reigns supreme against the other services, which all cost less.

HBO Max is nearly twice as much as Disney and Apple's new streaming services but will be included for those who already subscribe to HBO.

CNN's media critic, Brian Lowry, joins us now from Los Angeles. So Brian, good to you.

You know, there is a tsunami of content. It's heading our way as viewers, and for the most point, it seems, you know, they're giving it away, right?

BRIAN LOWRY, CNN MEDIA CRITIC: No, we're going to be paying for it. And I think -- you know, what you're going to see is, whatever you're paying for cable now, as that bundle sort of gets unwound, we're going to sort of reconstitute it by doing it on a more a-la-carte basis with these various streaming services.

And it's a wrenching change for the business, and really, in some very uncharted waters, in terms of shaking up a model that has held sway for decades and shifting to one where these studio-backed or tech- backed services are asking you to subscribe directly to them.

VAUSE: Content, and especially good content, is not cheap. On Tuesday, "Variety" reported, for example, HBO Max wins "South Park" streaming right for over $500 million. Half a billion dollars. That's one program, admittedly a very popular one with a huge library, but still, just one show.

I mean, this seems to be, you know, an economic model of the loss leader. And that can't last, can it? This is a contest of who has the deepest pockets. LOWRY: Well, you are going to see -- I mean, I think you will see

some casualties. You also are seeing some companies with extremely deep pockets getting into this game.

I mean, Netflix obviously has a head start. They're existing, and they have millions and millions of subscribers. But Disney is very well-positioned as the proprietor of "Star Wars" and Marvel, and the Pixar films, as well as it's animated vault.

And Warner Brothers is no slouch either when you look at things like D.C. Comics and its vast movie library, as well as, you know, shows like "Game of Thrones" and what it brings to the party from HBO.


So I think the real challenge for consumers in the short term is going to be figuring out what -- what is where, and what you want to get.

VAUSE: Yes. There's a paralysis of choice, almost. And the streaming services are following kind of a cable model in a way. They're bundling with other services?

LOWRY: Well, that hasn't really happened yet, but I think that's inevitably where it's all going to go. I mean, what -- what someone said to me a few years ago is that when the cable bundle breaks down, you know, what makes cable possible is that you pay for a lot of channels, some of which you don't watch. But because everybody pays into it, you can pay less overall.

In this case, when you're doing it on an a-la-carte -- more of an a- la-carte basis, and you buy just Disney or just Warner Brothers -- just Warner Media, you're going to buy fewer of them, but you'll end up paying more. And what you may end up paying is just as much -- you know, 90, $100 -- on streaming services that you were once paying for cable.

VAUSE: You know, like so many people, when I was growing up in Australia, two channels, one commercial, the other state-owned. But come midnight, you know, it was lights out. And we had this little message at the end of the day.


CHRIS KERNS (ph), ANNOUNCER: Now from all of us here at 7, this is Chris Kerns (ph) wishing you good night.


VAUSE: That was the -- that was the 1980s. You know, some cheesy music, a kangaroo, the national anthem. Nothing until 7 a.m. in the morning.

But we're about to enter the polar opposite of that world. We're about to be our own TV programmers, which means I guess we'll lose out on those shared cultural experiences. Who shot J.R.? You know, will Ross marry Rachel? You know, who will survive the Moldavian massacre in "Dynasty"?

LOWRY: Well, it's true. I mean, you know, the idea of a water cooler show is something really very much of the past. And right now, we are already in a niche-driven business, and I think you're only going to see that. You know, you're not going to be able to go to the watercolor the next day, except for a few big events, a World Series or a Super Bowl or something like that, and be able to say, hey, did you see that yesterday?

People will be watching what they watch, when they want to watch it. And our society becomes that much more fragmented.

VAUSE: They don't make TV like that "Dynasty" episode cliffhanger like they used to. Those were the good days.

Thank you. Good to see you.

LOWRY: Thank you.

VAUSE: Well, in the age of Netflix, the arms race for talent is fierce, and it's blowing up the traditional studio deals. Case in point: David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, they're the creators behind HBO's wildly popular "Game of Thrones." They were set to write and produce the "Star Wars" trilogy. But the superstar duo announced they're walking away from the project to focus on their $200 million production deal with Netflix.

Disney's Lucas Films, which produces "Star Wars" announced back in 2018 they were developing new films in the franchise. And now it looks like these two, well, the force will not be with them, but $200 million will be. What a choice.

Thank you for watching CNN NEWSROOM. I'm John Vause. Stay with us. WORLD SPORT is next.