Bafta has officially announced that it will recognize TV shows that are shown on an online only basis in next year’s awards. Shows like Breaking Bad, which are available in the U.K only on streaming service Netflix, and Kevin Spacey's House of Cards, which is a streaming exclusive, could be in line.

Breaking Bad Walt and JesseBreaking Bad will surely win the International category at the Baftas next year

The news comes as the AMC meth drama closed the lid on five seasons to critical acclaim. The quality of shows that don’t grace traditional methods of broadcast has proven too high to resist, leading awards ceremonies like The Emmys and Bafta to include them in their shortlists. Arrested Development will be hoping for a nomination, too.

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."

Of course, Breaking Bad and House of Cards would be eligible for the international category as their creative and editorial control is outside of the UK. But any programmes – online or not - where the creative control or majority of the funding came from the UK would be eligible for any of the myriad categories. Elsewhere, Bafta as also changed its comedy rules. The category has been expanded to include panel shows such as Have I Got News for You and chat shows.