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Online shows can compete for Baftas
Online programmes are to be allowed to compete for Bafta TV awards for the first time - despite not actually being screened on television.
The change takes account of the changing nature of broadcasting with a number of firms such as Netflix and Lovefilm now premiering programmes on the internet.
However the innovation will apply only to web-based broadcasters rather than enthusiastic amateurs creating programmes and posting them to their YouTube channel.
It means shows such as the acclaimed Breaking Bad, which is shown in the US on a cable channel but is available in the UK online, could be in the running.
The newly qualified shows will be eligible for next year's British Academy Television Awards and the craft awards which recognise technical and behind-the-scenes catagories, with entries open from today.
Tra ditional broadcasters such as the BBC have also experimented with online-only shows or given them a debut on the iPlayer before a traditional TV screening.
In the summer the US Emmy Awards included online-only programmes on the shortlist for the first time when the Netflix drama House Of Cards received nominations.
Bafta 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 craft awards take place on April 27 next year, with the main TV awards to follow on May 18.