Extra: Critics’ Choice honors docs, iPlayer loophole to close

In today's 'Extra,' the Critics' Choice Awards launch a showcase for docs and non-fiction TV, and the UK government extends a license fee to BBC's digital platform iPlayer.
August 2, 2016

Critics’ Choice Awards to give docs a dedicated showcase

The Critics’ Choice Awards is launching a separate awards show for feature docs and non-fiction television. The Critics’ Choice Documentary Awards will take place on November 3 at BRIC in Brooklyn. The showcase is co-presented by the Broadcast Film Critics Association and the Broadcast Television Journalists Association. Previously, the BFCA honored documentary films and the BTJA gave out awards for reality TV but not for TV docs.

Categories will include best documentary feature (separate awards for theatrical premiere and television premiere), best first documentary feature, best director of a documentary, best limited documentary series for television, best unstructured reality series and best music documentary. The nominees will be announced on October 10 and winners will be chosen by the memberships of both organizations. The doc and non-fiction categories will be removed from the Critics’ Choice Awards, which takes place in January.

BBC iPlayer viewers must pay license fee starting in September

The UK government is extending a license fee to viewers of the BBC’s digital platform iPlayer, BBC News reports. The move closes the so-called iPlayer loophole that allows viewers to watch BBC programs online for free. Previously, a license fee was only needed to watch live TV broadcasts, but as of September 1 a license will be needed to download and watch BBC shows on demand.

The move is part of former UK culture secretary John Whittingdale’s plan to modernize the rules around streaming so that online viewers do not get a “free ride.” Unlicensed households will be notified of the change in law, which applies to all devices used to access the iPlayer, such as smartphones, tablets, gaming consoles and laptops. Households that already pay the fee will not be affected by the change.

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Jonathan Paul is a Toronto-based writer into creativity, content, advertising, tech, comics, video games, film, TV, time and space travel.