Emmy Statue

EMMY Awards® Contest Rules

PURPOSE: To recognize outstanding achievements in television and allied media by conferring annual awards of merit in the Chapter’s designated award region which includes Detroit, Lansing, Flint, Saginaw, Bay City, Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, Battle Creek, Alpena, Marquette  and Traverse City-Cadillac . The presentation of these awards is intended to be an incentive for the continued pursuit of excellence for those working in the television and digital media industry and to focus public attention on outstanding cultural, educational, technological, entertainment, news, informational programming and craft achievements in television and online.

WHO CAN ENTER: Membership in The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences is not required to enter the Emmy® Awards. Entrants must have each performed a significant and hands-on role in the production. Eligibility is determined by role rather than an individual’s job title. Managers, News Directors, clients and supervisory personnel are typically not considered eligible but may petition to be included if they actively participated and their work significantly contributed to the content being submitted.

Entrants, producers, management or designated representatives may submit an entry on behalf of another individual. In that case, the submitter is responsible for confirming the entrant’s knowledge of and adherence to all eligibility rules and that they have given their consent to the content submitted. Also, submitters are strongly encouraged to reach out to all key contributors on the entry, to make them aware that their work is being submitted and to allow them the opportunity to add their name.

STUDENT PRODUCTIONS: Students are not considered peer professionals and as such, their regional student productions are not eligible for Emmy® award recognition. If material is produced as part of a class for which school credit is received, the material is considered to be the work of a student. If a student works on a project submitted for Emmy consideration by a professional, and is included on the entry for that project, they cannot enter as a student, but instead must pay the appropriate professional entry fees. Student award recipients or their institutions from any NATAS Chapter’s high school or college competitions may not use the Emmy® name or replica of the Emmy® figure in any form of commercial advertising or promotion for their recognition.

SUBMISSION ELIGIBILITY: To be eligible, original entries must have been transmitted to the general public by a television station, a cable company, satellite, the Internet or other digital delivery medium. Eligibility is limited to digital and telecast/cablecast programming that was originally produced and intended for the Chapter’s regional or local audience during the Chapter’s eligibility year.

Broadcast and cablecast entries must have been produced and intended for a regional or local audience, within the Chapter’s designated awards area, and must have had their first transmission in that awards area during the eligibility period. Entries produced and intended for a wider audience (a national audience) should be submitted for consideration in NATAS’ national awards.

Video content distributed via the Internet must have been produced and intended for a regional or local audience within the Chapter’s designated awards area. Internet content intended for a wider audience (a national audience) should be submitted for consideration in NATAS’ national awards.   

Additional eligibility clarification notes:

  • Local station news coverage that may receive national exposure should be submitted to regional Emmy® Award competitions.
  • A documentary film that has a limited theatrical release at film festivals (showing on 50 or fewer screens in the U.S. over a one-year period) before telecast or being made available online is eligible provided the program content is of primary interest to the regional or local audience. Documentary films with a theatrical debut more than one year prior to its television or streaming debut will not be eligible.
  • Local content that later receives national distribution may be submitted to either a Regional or a National Awards Competition, but not both.
  • Materials provided by a news service, cooperative news association or similar source must be treated as previously produced material unless it was originally intended for first release in the regional awards eligibility area to which it was submitted with on-site supervision by the entrant.
  • Local segments that are eligible to participate as entries in National Emmy® Award competitions (i.e. News & Doc) may compete in both regional and national awards competitions under prevailing rules.

ORIGINAL MATERIAL: At least two-thirds of an entry must consist of original material, unless previously produced material has been given some unique and creative treatment that, in the opinion of the Chapter Awards Committee, results in new, original content.

Materials provided by a news service, cooperative news association or similar source must be treated as previously produced material, unless originally intended for first release in the Chapter’s regional awards eligibility area to which it was submitted with on-site supervision by the entrant.

CONTENT ELIGIBILITY: The interpretation of the Chapter Awards Committee is final and absolute. Entries must be submitted as originally shown. There may not be any post-broadcast changes except as noted in the category descriptions.

The following programming is not eligible:

  1. Pornographic, violent, defamatory or offensive content.
  2. Previously aired programs, series or related craft content which aired and met eligibility requirements during a previous award year or another Emmy® competition.
  3. Program length commercials or infomercials.
  4. Closed circuit content or internal communications.
  5. Content from telethons, pledge breaks and/or programs with a unique call to action aired for the purposes of raising money for political parties, charities or other related causes.
  6. Motion picture content that premiered in general release to the public in theaters.
  7. Compilation reels, “clip shows” or “best of…” programs that were edited from original content.
  8. Any acquired foreign productions not originated in the United States.

ENTRY QUOTA: In order to sustain a high level of award excellence, Chapters must continue to self-regulate their entries, making sure only the appropriate individuals are recognized. To maintain this consistency, there is a maximum quota of 12 eligible names allowed on each entry. Any name(s) added beyond this number will require written authorization from the primary responsible entrant detailing the additional job title and responsibility. Chapters would then have the option of accepting these additional entrants or not.

CATEGORY VIABILITY: In the event that Administration and the Awards Committee deem a category non-viable due to insufficient number of entries, the category may be canceled or merged with another similar category. If a category is merged, entrants would have the option of dropping out of the competition and receiving a refund of their entry fees.

EXCERPTS: An excerpt is defined as a continuous segment or section from longer content.

Unless noted in the category description, no more than three (3) excerpts may be used to bring longer content to the specified category time limit.

For entries representing a program series, content must be included from multiple episodes of the series. A maximum of three (3) representative excerpts is permitted. One to two seconds of black, with no audio or slates, must be added to separate excerpts.

If the awards committee determines the content of any excerpt is ineligible, the entire entry will be ruled ineligible.

Removal of a commercial break between segments does not constitute a separate excerpt.

COMPOSITES: A composite is defined as a sampling of a minimum of two (2) and no more than five (5) representative segments or examples of work that convey to a judging panel the scope, breadth, or range of an individual’s talents within the specified craft category.

The elements within a composite, unless otherwise noted in the category description, are to be “as aired” with no post-distribution changes, such as additional edits, music or special effects. Composites may include stories or segments in their entirety and/or excerpts from longer content.

One to two seconds of black between cuts, with no audio or slates, must be added to separate segments within the composite.


ENTRY PLACEMENT : When an entry’s content allows for a choice of category placement, the producer has the discretion to enter the material in the most appropriate content category in addition to any craft achievement categories where it is eligible.

However, certain rules must also be considered and followed:

  • No entry may be submitted to more than one Emmy awards competition (Regional or National).

      *Exception: Regional Emmy recipients in the Breaking News and Investigative Report categories are eligible for submission to the National News & Documentary competition under prevailing rules.

  • Different episodes from the same program or series can only be entered in one Emmy® Awards competition.
  • Entrants are not allowed to separate content from individual craft achievement and submit in multiple Emmy Awards competitions.
  • If the Chapter deems content ineligible, craft submissions related to that content would also be ineligible.
  • The first distribution of the entry is the primary determination of eligibility.

The Chapter reserves the right to disqualify outright or move any entry to a different entry category if in its judgment such action is warranted. Entries will not be accepted if no applicable category is found.

DOUBLE-DIPPING: No entry may be submitted in its entirety in more than one content category. No entrant may be recognized more than once for performing the same job function for the same content.

Exceptions are given for content that was part of a full newscast, or included as an excerpt in the Overall Excellence, News Excellence and Community Service categories. To be eligible for this exception in the newscast categories, the same entrant cannot be listed on the newscast entry and another entry.


An investigative reporter is listed on a newscast entry. Under this double-dipping rule, a portion of the newscast content could be entered in Investigative Report, but the same reporter cannot be listed as a reporter since their name already appeared on the newscast entry in that specified role.

If you enter a full program or episode from a series in a content category, you cannot also enter a segment from the same show in another content category.

Content produced as both a multi-part series and a full-length program may be entered only once, regardless of the amount of new material added.


An investigative team does a three-part series within a newscast on gun control. Once the three parts have aired, and the same material re-purposed as a news or program special, the team would need to decide if they should enter the original series or the special, not both.

For Branded Franchise series, you may choose to submit up to five (5) representative segments from the series as a single entry in the appropriate category. If you enter the Branded Franchise as a series, you cannot also enter a segment from the same Franchise in another content category. However, if you do not submit the franchise as a series entry, you may submit individual segments in the appropriate categories.


Your franchise is “This Week’s Health Advice.” The specific subject matter varies from week to week with topics such as Heart Health Awareness, Mary’s Battle with Lupus, Dietary Tips, The Best Yoga Studios in Springfield. You may submit each segment separately as individual entries based on the subject matter. Alternatively, you may submit all 5 segments in the Health category as a single entry representing the franchise. However, if you submit the franchise as a single entry, you may not submit any individual segments from the franchise elsewhere.  

A single or multi episode full-length program, or a multi-part news series, all on the same subject, may only be entered in one content category. If the subject matter varies, different episodes from the same overall program series can be entered in other program categories as appropriate based on content. This exception does not apply to individual stories from a news series.


Your entry is a four-part series, Saving the Bay. Part one of the series is entered in the Informational/Instructional category. Part three cannot be entered in the Environment category.

Your program is called Community Weekly, an on-going weekly series. Though it is basically a Public Affairs series, episode 204 may be about music, episode 216 about sports, while other episodes are more generic. Under our rules, episode 204 could be entered in an Entertainment category, while episode 216 could be entered in Sports.  Other episodes from the series could be entered in Public Affairs.

In situations where craft persons, like writers, photographers, editors, etc., served in multiple roles that significantly impacted the final product, they may be listed on content categories and/or craft achievement categories provided they don’t violate double-dipping guidelines.


If a craft person is a writer/photographer on a documentary, they could enter the documentary in a program category listing themselves as only the writer. They could also enter the documentary (or a portion of it) in the photographer craft category, listing themselves as photographer only.

If they are not an entrant on the program entry, they could enter the writer and/or photographer craft categories, using the same material since they performed different job functions.

If they list themselves as both writer and photographer on the program entry, they are ineligible to enter either the writer or photographer craft categories.

They cannot enter either craft category using the dual job title since one craft category is only for writer and the other only for photographer.

ENTRY ERRORS AND OMISSIONS: The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences assumes no responsibility for the acts or omissions of those individuals or entities submitting entries pursuant to this notice. All submitting entities and/or individuals are advised to review submissions with respect to correct name credits and other information. NATAS shall accept all submissions that are not in conflict with any of its rules and regulations.

Once a Chapter’s award nominations are announced, there is a 10 calendar day grace period in which names, under extreme, special circumstances, can be added to a nominated entry. These requests should be authorized in writing to the Chapter from the person who submitted the entry or one entry nominees requesting this addition and detailing why this request should be granted. An individual may petition the Chapter directly if the situation warrants. The Chapter’s Awards Committee will make the final decision and ruling.

Once the Emmy® awards ceremony has concluded, NO individual names can be added to an awarded entry as an additional recipient, under any circumstances.

INTENTIONAL FALSIFICATION: The entrant warrants that they are the party most responsible for the award-worthiness of the entry. The intentional falsification of production credits or entry credits will result in disqualification.

Attempts to adjust show titles, airdates and/or descriptions of content in order to submit to multiple chapters or multiple categories, regardless of the circumstances, is prohibited.

DISQUALIFICATION: Ineligible entries may be disqualified during any phase of the competition.

COPYRIGHT:  Each entrant agrees that any form of analog and/or digital recording, whether it be film, tape recording, screenshot or supplemental printed material that is furnished to NATAS in connection with an entry may be retained by NATAS for file, reference and archival purposes and may be viewed partially or in its entirety for judging purposes. All of, or portions of, said content may be used on or in connection with the awards ceremony, any broadcast/telecast and other exhibition, including internet; as well as with promotional announcements or activities for any of the foregoing. If required, the entrant is further responsible for approval and clearances to the appropriate parties for any use of this copyright content.

JUDGING PROCEDURE: Judging panels should be made up of no fewer than 6 qualified judges who shall be certified as peer judges, with no more than 3 of those judges from the same station or company. Whenever possible, it is preferred that the judging coordinator secure at least 8 qualified individuals to serve on a judging panel. Judges may not have a conflict of interest, which is described as having a direct involvement in the production of an entry, or having a personal relationship with a member of the production staff of an entry. Group ownership, by itself, does not necessarily create a conflict of interest.

NON-COMPETITIVE JUDGING: Entries are judged against a standard of excellence on their own merit and do not compete against each other. Craft entries are evaluated using a 1-10 scale each for Creativity and Execution. All other entries are scored using a 1-10 scale each for Content, Creativity and Execution. There may be one award, more than one award or no award given in each category. Any exceptions will be noted in the category description.

LANGUAGE OTHER THAN ENGLISH: Spanish-language entries will be judged by a panel of Spanish-language media professionals who are bilingual or Spanish proficient. Programs in languages other than English or Spanish may also be entered; however, judging of these entries in their native language is subject to the availability of qualified, peer judges who speak the language of the entry. Therefore, NATAS requires that these entrants submit their entries with English subtitles or with English on a second audio channel.

JUDGING REQUIREMENT: The success of the Emmy® Awards process depends on the willingness of qualified professionals to serve as judges. Peers in other NATAS Chapters are judging our Chapter’s entries. Our Chapter will judge other Chapters’ entries. BY ENTERING, YOU AGREE TO SERVE AS A JUDGE WHEN ASKED.

DISCLOSURE OF JUDGING RESULTS: In order to maintain fair, consistent peer judging without influence, judges must not disclose how they voted. If they ignore or abuse this privilege, their ballot will be disqualified and/or their judging status eliminated.

WHO RECEIVES THE AWARD?: Producers, craft persons and other eligible entrants as listed on the entry form receive the Emmy® statuette.

Eligible entrants must have significant, creative, and hands-on involvement in the actual production of the video that is submitted. Roles peripheral to the actual video production (proposal/grant writing, research, fundraising, general supervision, etc.) are not substantial enough to be considered in this competition.

Executive Producers and management personnel (such as News Directors) are not eligible for Emmy® statuettes unless directly involved in the hands-on production of the work submitted. Those who serve in a managerial or supervisory role only should not be listed on the entry. To be considered, Executive Producers, General Managers, News Directors or other management personnel must have directly participated in the execution of the video. In such cases, a written request outlining the person’s involvement should be submitted via email to the Chapter’s awards committee for approval. Note: General Managers are statuette eligible for the Overall Excellence category. News Directors are statuette eligible for the News Excellence category.

In the Craft Achievement categories, those who actually perform a specific discipline receive the Emmy® statuette. Supervising or directing the work of others does not qualify except for achievements in directing categories.

Emmy® Awards are presented to individuals, not to their employers. It is the individual entrant’s achievement that is being judged and recognized, even if an employer pays entry fees.

Others who work on a nominated or recognized entry may order contributor certificates or plaques. Individuals who did not receive a statuette, but were eligible for production certificates and/or plaques are not considered Emmy® recipients.

COMMEMORATIVE STATUETTES: As a courtesy, stations, studios, production companies and other Chapter-approved organizations may order a commemorative statuette for public display at their place of business. The statuette is engraved the same as the original Emmy® Award, with the word “commemorative” added. Neither the organization’s name nor any other special wording may be engraved in place of where the individual’s name and position would usually appear. Commemorative Emmy® statuettes cannot be ordered for individuals.

PROMOTION: All publicity, advertising or any written reference undertaken by nominees and award recipients to the Emmy® Awards, must clearly state that the awarded achievement is for a Regional Emmy® Award. The word “Regional” must appear in these instances. The recipient of a nomination or an Emmy® Award may refer in advertising and publicity to the fact that they have been honored only for one year after the recognition was bestowed. They may use a replica of the Emmy® statuette in such advertising. Individuals who significantly contributed to the production or craft but were not honored with a statuette cannot specifically advertise they are an Emmy® award recipient. They can only state they worked on the recognized program.

RULES FOR THE PROTECTION OF THE EMMY® STATUETTE: The Emmy® statuette is the property of and all rights are reserved by The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (NATAS) and the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (Television Academy). The Emmy® statuette may not be reproduced or used in any commercial manner unless otherwise permitted by NATAS, it being understood that possession of the same is solely for the benefit of the recipient and the recipient’s heirs or successors in interest. If a recipient or the recipient’s heir or successor in interest proposes to sell, loan, donate  or otherwise dispose of the Emmy® statuette, such persons shall be obligated to return the statuette to The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences which will retain the same in storage in memory of the recipient.

A ® registration mark and the appropriate copyright notice: © NATAS/Television Academy must accompany any portrayal of the Emmy® statuette or moniker.