Amazon has somewhat integrated its News for Fire TV app into the Fire TV’s Live Experience. Despite the News app launching way back in 2019 and offering live channels from the beginning, those channels haven’t been accessible in the Fire TV’s Live tab until now. Unfortunately, the integration is half-baked, at best, with several aspects left out of the integration.
The News app for Fire TV is installed by default, however, if you head to the Live tab chances are that you won’t find any of the News app’s channels. That’s because you first need to go to Settings > Live TV > Sync Sources and then select “News by Fire TV” for channels to be added. Perhaps, given some time, those channels will automatically be synced on their own, but one would have hoped that Amazon’s own app would work better than this and not need to be manually synced with their own system. You’ll notice that thought becoming a theme with this update.
Once channels are synced, you’ll be able to go to Settings > Live TV > Manage Channels > News by Fire TV to see a list of the 9 channels that have now been integrated. Those live channels are ABC News, Black News Channel, CBS News, Cheddar, ET Live, Newsy, People TV, TD Ameritrade, and USA Today. Oddly missing is the Yahoo News channel, which is available live within the Fire TV’s News app, but that channel does not get synced to the Fire TV’s live experience. Also missing are all of the local news channels, of which some offer live streams, that were recently added to the Fire TV’s News app.
It’s understandable that certain channels may have chosen to opt-out of this integration, so I don’t hold that against Amazon. However, what I do hold against Amazon is that none of these channels appear in the Fire TV’s channel guide. For some people, integration of channels into the channel guide is the main benefit when apps and services integrate into the Fire TV’s live experience. Leaving that entire aspect out of this update is inexcusable for Amazon’s own News app when numerous 3rd-party services, like Tubi, Xumo, Pluto, and others have managed to add their channels to the program guide.
Yet another half-baked aspect of this integration is how favorited channels are handled. If you’ve been using Amazon’s News app, you’ll know that you can mark channels as favorites so that they appear first within the app. Do those favorited channels also appear as favorited channels within the Live tab so that they appear first there? Of course not because that would make too much sense. Favoriting channels within the News app and favoriting channels within the Fire TV’s live tab are completely independent of each other so you need to manually manage both lists of favorites.
Manual syncing, missing channels, no channel guide integration, and mismatched favorites all add up to an embarrassingly bad integration of Amazon’s own News app with the Fire TV’s live experience. Add to that the fact that this half-baked integration took 16 months to arrive. If you want free news channels integrated into the Fire TV’s live tab and channel guide, you’re far better off using one of the several 3rd-party apps that integrate into the Fire TV’s live experience.
I’ve been having trouble with Sling TV’s free channels and News for Fire TV. Sling disappears intermittently and must be re-added, whereas News for Fire TV simply doesn’t show up. All the other free sources (as well as Philo and Recast) show up just fine for me, so I don’t believe it is user error.
Hey Danner, great to see you around! I’ve had issues with Sling TV too. It seems to be an issue on Sling’s side because I’ve noticed that the app occasionally crashes/hangs when the OS pings for channels. The News app just flat out omits channel guide support, so there’s nothing that can be done there.