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Amazon debuts Fire TV Channels on streaming TV devices

The feature includes free streaming content from more than 400 producers and distributors.

The feature includes free streaming content from more than 400 producers and distributors.

Amazon this week launched a new feature that aims to offer a large amount of free streaming content to users of the company’s popular Fire TV sticks and smart TV sets.

The feature, called Fire TV Channels, exists within the Apps and Live menus on Amazon Fire TV gadgets, and is populated by more than 400 content providers. Those content producers and distributors include the National Hockey League (NHL), ABC News, CBS Sports, CBS News, Fox Sports, Major League Baseball (MLB), Microsoft Xbox TV, Tastemade, Rick Steves’ Europe and TMZ.

“With the launch of Fire TV Channels, we’re doubling down on our free ad-supported TV (FAST) experience, which already includes News, Sports, Food & Cooking, Music Videos, Trailers, Gaming Videos, and Comedy,” Charlotte Maines, the director of Fire TV’s audience, monetization and engagement sectors, said in a statement on Monday. “In the past six months alone, monthly hours streamed of this content has grown by 300 percent. When our customers love something, we invest in creating more ways to surprise and delight them.”

The Fire TV Channels feature began appearing on some Fire TV devices over the weekend (The Desk noticed the new tiles on a newer-model Amazon Fire TV stick that recently went through a factory reset). It was formally unveiled on Monday as part of Amazon’s NewFronts presentation, the company affirmed in a statement.

“Fire TV is breaking barriers by living up to the ‘smart’ in ‘smart TV,'” Maines continued. “With Fire TV Channels, we’re delivering a simple, category-based experience that makes it easy to discover what you want to watch while constantly expanding content offerings.”

Over the next few months, Amazon will be re-working its Fire TV Channels tiles into a single destination that will collate the best of its free TV offerings. Amazon is touting the new space for Fire TV Channels as an “always-on experience [that] will provide customers with even more ways to discover and enjoy this extensive content collection in an easy-to-browse, custom-made watch experience.”

Right now, Amazon Fire TV users can sift through the Fire TV Channels content by using their voice remote to ask Alexa to “open the Free page.” The Fire TV Channels tiles are located within the second row of the Free page. Streamers can also navigate to the Free page by using their Fire TV remote controls to visit the Home screen, then tab over to the option that says “Free.”

Streamers who are interested in the Fire TV Channels offering but who don’t yet have a Fire TV device of their own can check out Amazon’s current sales on the devices by clicking or tapping here.

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is the publisher of The Desk and reports on the business and policy matters involving the broadcast television, streaming video and radio industries. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, Disney-ABC, Tribune Broadcasting and McNaughton Newspapers. Matthew is based in Northern California, has won numerous awards in the field of journalism, and is a member of IRE (Investigative Reporters and Editors).