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In online TV first, Netflix wins Emmy for drama directing

David Fincher wins an Emmy for directing Netflix's "House of Cards," and the Internet TV provider breaks ground -- again -- for online only programming.

House of Cards

Netflix won its first Emmy award -- the kind doled out at the flashy, star-studded televised ceremony -- Sunday night, as David Fincher won for best directing of a drama series.

The online subscription-video service, which has been touting itself of late as the "world's leading Internet television provider," was nominated for 14 primetime Emmy awards this year, the first time that an online-only service had shows in the running for one of television's top creative honors.

Netflix had already won a couple Emmys this year: one Creative Arts Emmy for casting and another for cinematography, both for "House of Cards," which were given out at a ceremony prior to the main event broadcast Sunday evening. And prior to the 2013 awards, Netflix had a Technology and Engineering Emmy to its name.

But this is the first time Netflix, or any online-only distribution platform for television, has won one of the marquee Emmys that is accepted in front of a theater of stars and a national broadcast-television audience -- the kind of Emmy that generates buzz important for Netflix to add to its base of more than 30 million streaming subscribers.

The night closed, however, without any further awards for Netflix. Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright had been nominated for lead acting in a drama series, and Jason Bateman was in the running for lead acting in a comedy. "House of Cards" itself was nominated for outstanding drama, which was awarded to odds-on favorite "Breaking Bad."

UPDATED at 8:15 p.m. PT: with the awards concluding without any further Netflix winners.