BAFTA opens awards to online programmes

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BAFTA has changed the rules for its television awards in a move that will allow web-based broadcasters such as Netflix to enter for the first time.

The change means web-based channels that commission content will be able to compete in categories that have previously only recognised content shown on television channels. Netflix’s Breaking Bad or House of Cards, for example, will now be eligible.

BAFTA chief executive Amanda Berry said: “We continually strive to ensure our awards remain relevant to the industry, as well as reflecting trends among the viewing public. We’re in a golden era for storytelling and programme-making, with top-class shows being broadcast online as well as on digital and terrestrial television. The latest update to our rules ensures we celebrate and reward the very best.”

The updated rule applies to both BAFTA’s television and television craft awards.

Other changes announced include the expansion of the comedy category, which becomes comedy and comedy entertainment, and an update to the entertainment programme category. This will now include programmes such as quizzes, talent shows and music specials.

The craft awards take place on April 27, 2014, with the main television awards occurring in May, 2014.