07/10/2014 12:16 pm ET Updated Jul 10, 2014

The Battle Between HBO And Netflix Just Got Real


HBO may be the king of Emmy nominations, but Netflix is fast becoming a threat to the throne.

HBO got 99 of the Emmy nominations announced on Thursday, the 14th year in a row the cable network has gotten more nods than any of its rivals. It also produced the show with the most nominations: "Game Of Thrones," with 19.

But Netflix garnered 31 nominations more than doubling last year's haul of 14. That puts Netflix at 7th on the list of networks getting nominations, but it is climbing up the ranks quickly. And the networks ahead of it are all "real" TV networks like CBS and ABC. Their nomination tallies aren't growing as fast.

And Netflix is the more efficient nomination-getter: HBO's 99 nominations are for a total of 26 shows, miniseries, movies and specials. Netflix's 31 nominations were for just 5 shows, specials and movies. That comes out to an average of 3.8 nominations per show for HBO and just over 6 per show for Netflix.

What's perhaps most surprising is that Netflix is a website, not a traditional TV channel. Netflix has only been around for 17 years, while HBO has been around for 42.

HBO may have had a head start, but it might not be long before Netflix catches up. Netflix only has a small amount of content made exclusively for the site. That could change as the site grows. Last year was the first year that shows created expressly for online streaming were nominated for Emmys, and people are increasingly watching shows online.

HBO will probably not go quietly, however: It has its own hugely popular streaming site, and "Game Of Thrones" has been the most pirated TV show for the past two years.

Still, Netflix also has a price advantage: HBO generally costs between $15 and $20 per month, depending on your cable provider, and doesn't yet have an online-only option. And that cost is on top of whatever exorbitant rate you already pay for basic cable service. Netflix costs $8.99 a month.

If you want to get people to pay extra for your shows, you have to make them good. HBO and Netflix seem to get it.

Correction: Online-only shows became eligible for Emmy nomination in 2008. An earlier version of this article incorrectly said they first became eligible this year.