The British Academy of Film and Television Arts is adding new rules which will for the first time include web-based broadcasters to be eligible for its TV awards, a move that opens the field to the likes of Netflix. Here’s a release on this and other changes to the prizes which will be awarded in April and May of 2014:

London, 1 October 2013: The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) today announced that, for the very first time, web-based broadcasters will be eligible to enter the British Academy Television Awards and the British Academy Television Craft Awards.

BAFTA’s Chief Executive, Amanda Berry, said: “We continually strive to ensure our Awards remain relevant to the industry, as well as reflecting the 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 new Rule Books for both Awards are now published online, with full details on entry and eligibility, at

This important update to eligibility is one of a number of changes made to the Television and Television Craft Awards this year, presented in 2014.

Other changes include the expansion of the previous Comedy category, which becomes Comedy and Comedy Entertainment and encompasses programmes whose comedy is central to the editorial of the programme, including panel-led shows, chat shows where comic content plays a significant part, stand-up comedy shows, and comedy clips shows.

The Entertainment Programme category has been updated to include content such as quizzes and game shows, talent shows, music specials, and all general entertainment programmes. The Situation Comedy category remains unchanged.

BAFTA’s Television Committee chairman, Andrew Newman, said: “As a genre, comedy entertainment has grown rapidly over the past few years and the new expansion of this category recognises this, allowing for a wider range of programmes to be considered by the academy and ensuring a more lively competition in both the “Comedy & Comedy Entertainment Programme” and the “Entertainment Programme” categories.”

Entry for all categories will open on Tuesday 1 October and close on Friday 3 December.

The British Academy Television Craft Awards will be held on Sunday 27 April 2014, and the British Academy Television Awards will be held on Sunday 18 May 2014.