There used to be a lot of Art on television. Networks like A&E and Bravo were once home to classic plays, symphony, opera and dance. Even our national broadcaster, the CBC, prided itself on bringing the best of Stratford, The Canadian Opera Company and the Royal Winnipeg Ballet to far flung audiences with little chance to attend the brick and mortar venues themselves.
Not so much anymore.
And even as the debate over unbundling cable begins here, no one is stepping up to offer Canadian viewers a reason to continue it via programming with a little more heft than “Duck Dynasty” or “Real Housewives of Vancouver”.
To date, those who’ve given up on choosing between being challenged on the value of a storage locker or watching reruns of “Flashpoint” for the umpteenth time have had to rely on the likes of Netflix for something new or different.
And while the exponential growth of that company and other video aggregators poses a threat to Canada’s “do as little as possible” broadcasters, a new service has arisen that could be a game changer for many cable subscribers.
Digital Theatre has arrived from the unchallenged home of English language theatre offering classic plays, popular musicals, opera and dance from Britain’s premiere venues.
Want to watch “Macbeth” from the esteemed Liverpool Everyman company featuring David “The Walking Dead” Morrissey? How about the recently acclaimed Royal Shakespeare Company production of “As You Like It”?
Does your taste run toward David Suchet and Laurie Metcalf in the West End production of “A Long Day’s Journey Into Night” or “La Traviata” via the Royal Opera Company?
How about brilliantly staged versions of “Merrily We Roll Along” or “Into The Woods”. Or the latest from cutting edge companies such as The Royal Court or Young Vic companies.
All are now available via an online link and at a fraction of what you’ve been paying for the same thing at your local mutliplex. And certainly more economical than what you have been shelling out for all those bundled channels you never watch.
Unlike Netflix, Digital Theatre charges per selection with options to rent or own in SD or HD. And it’s also available for tablet and mobile platforms.
And while our broadcaster conglomerates argue against bundling in an effort to hold onto the status quo, it’s clear that the audience now has one more reason to opt for a system in which they only pay for what they actually consume and have it available when it works best for them and not some network programmer or sponsor.
One more reason to cut the cord completely –- with many more to come…