This year’s BAFTA TV nominees show that the Academy is catching up with on-demand

BBC iPlayer shows Bitter Lake and Car Share, Netflix's Narcos and Making a Murderer and Amazon Prime's Transparent are all up for gongs in a more forward-thinking BAFTAS, says Mark Jefferies


The BAFTA TV awards used to be filled with nominations from BBC1, Channel 4, ITV… and that was pretty much it.


But the times, they are a-changin’, and in the same way that you are reading this article online, much of TV is now being viewed via the internet.

Some nominations this year, and well deserved they are too, can’t even be viewed on a television in the traditional sense.

Documentary Bitter Lake by acclaimed filmmaker Adam Curtis has never been screened by the BBC outside of iPlayer. Curtis said: “BBC iPlayer has given me the opportunity to do this – because it isn’t restrained by the rigid formats and schedules of network television.”

US crime drama Narcos is on Netflix, and has been the talk of Twitter for months. It gets a nomination in the International category alongside Amazon Prime’s taboo-tackling transsexual comedy Transparent.

Making A Murderer, meanwhile – a series responsible for thousands if not millions of Netflix subscriptions on its own – has a chance of winning the Radio Times Audience Award.

And even Car Share, a massive hit for BBC1, was available first to watch on iPlayer and got most of its praise from word of mouth before it was ever “on TV”.

In 2015 Netflix had a couple of nominations, but this feels like the first year BAFTA has caught up with the TV audience and it’s changing landscape.

There is more choice than ever, but it also feels like competition is driving quality up, especially when it comes to drama. Expect even more nominations outside of the big channels in the coming years.


Mark Jefferies is showbiz editor at the Daily Mirror